New Zealand’s 2021 kiwifruit harvest has kicked off with the commercial crop being picked this morning in Gisborne and more kiwifruit to be picked across New Zealand over the coming days.
Zespri used 49 chartered reefer vessels and 17,829 refrigerated containers to ship around 157 million class 1 trays – or 600,000 tonnes of Zespri SunGold, Green and Zespri Red Kiwifruit to consumers in more than 50 countries around the world.
Both the number of charter vessels and containers used increased from the previous season, and fruit was able to be delivered earlier than normal to meet demand.
The final shipments of this season’s kiwifruit recently left Port of Tauranga, bound for Zespri’s global markets.
The final containers, carrying around 735 tonnes of Zespri Green Kiwifruit, are headed for Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and Greater China, while the final chartered reefer vessel – the Southampton Star - will unload 2,228 tonnes of kiwifruit in Tokyo and Kobe, Japan.
Zespri’s Chief Global Supply Officer Alastair Hulbert says the company has been fortunate that with the support of the Government and communities it’s been able to continue to operate and deliver this season’s crop to consumers around the world.
“The wider supply chain including frontline staff at the Port of Tauranga have worked incredibly hard to ship our record-breaking harvest this season, and embrace the enhanced safety measures put in place to keep our people and communities safe during New Zealand’s response to COVID-19.
“Their support and dedication during such a disrupted season meant we could continue to get our fruit to consumers around the world, where demand was incredibly high.”
New Zealand again supplied more Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit than Green this season, with this year’s harvest the largest yet. In total, over 87 million trays of Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit and 70 million trays of Green were supplied to global customers.”
Hulbert said Zespri was now transitioning to fruit from its Northern Hemisphere growing partners in Italy, France, Korea and Japan, with its global supply strategy ensuring consumers were able to continue to access Zespri Kiwifruit for 12 months of the year.
The final shipment of New Zealand-grown fruit is expected to reach all markets by early December.