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Zespri's First Shipment of Kiwifruit Arrives in Shanghai

April 07, 2017

The 6th April marks the arrival of this season's first consignment of Zespri kiwi fruit from New Zealand as the “Asian Adonis” is set to pull into the port of Shanghai carrying 840.000 trays (2940 tons) of the fruit.

The choice of China as the first destination of the season marks a break with tradition, underscoring the country's increasing importance as both the fastest growing market and, together with Japan, joint main destination for Zespri products in 2017. This early arrival will mean that Chinese consumers will be able to see New Zealand Kiwifruit on store shelves by late April.

Although this season has not seen the numbers of last year's bumper crop in terms of the green variety, Zespri's investment in Sungold is paying off with continued growth as more vines are reaching full maturity. “We’re looking at the second-largest crop in our history and fruit is sizing well on the vines heading into harvest, with good taste levels,” said Zespri Chief Operating Officer Simon Limmer. This will help the company meet high demand for Sungold, which currently outstrips supply.

On this note Zespri's President of Global Sales and Marketing, Dan Mathieson announced that Zespri is planning on increasing the company's total marketing investment again this year, noting that, “this is particularly important as we continue to expand our presence into developing markets, introducing more consumers to the great taste and superior quality of our fruit."

As with other premium brands in China, Zespri faces the challenge of counterfeiting and as such has implemented various strategies to protect their reputation for premium quality, fresh nutritious kiwifruit. “These include working with government officials, educating consumers, and looking out for and prosecuting infringements where possible. The recent interception of 1480 trays of counterfeit Zespri Kiwifruit by Beijing AIC law enforcement is a great example of this partnership in action,” said Holly Brown, Zespri Head of Corporate Affairs China, who added, “Zespri uses a number of covert and overt technologies to protect our brand and manage traceability. We work closely with leading technology providers to continually improve our systems, to give our consumers confidence they are eating genuine premium-quality Zespri Kiwifruit."

In another first for the industry, this season almost all the North European charters will be replaced with Seatrade’s new Colour Class ships, which are fuel efficient, equipped with the latest technology and reefer equipment and meet all greenhouse gas emission requirements. These specialised reefer container vessels differ from the traditional reefer ships in that they give Zespri the flexibility to alter volumes on each vessel according to market demand, meaning that the company is no longer committed to loading the vessel full and complete as the sole cargo owner. The vessels will however still be operated on an FDD basis (Fast, Dedicated and Direct) which is a key requirement for Zespri.

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