Wednesday, 11 October 2023 10:55

Zespri's big Northern Hemisphere harvest

Written by  Staff Reporters
Zespri is expecting just over 100,000 tonnes of kiwifruit from orchards throughout France, Italy, Greece, Korea and Japan. Zespri is expecting just over 100,000 tonnes of kiwifruit from orchards throughout France, Italy, Greece, Korea and Japan.

Zespri's kiwifruit harvest from its Northern Hemisphere growers is set to exceed previous crops.

Zespri’s Nick Kirton says the company’s Northern Hemisphere sales programme has just commenced with it expecting to sell around 29 million trays. This amounts to just over 100,000 tonnes of kiwifruit from orchards throughout France, Italy, Greece, Korea and Japan. He says this compares with 24 million trays or 88,000 tonnes sold last season.

“This season’s harvest will be our biggest yet and we’re looking forward to providing consumers with more high-quality and great-tasting kiwifruit as we transition from NZgrown fruit to our Northern Hemisphere-grown fruit.”

For more than 20 years, Zespri has built up a cohort of around 1500 growers and suppliers in the northern hemisphere to complement the fruit grown in NZ. This enables Zespri to have kiwifruit on supermarket shelves for 12 months of the year.

Kirton says this season’s Green sales volumes are expected to remain steady compared with last year, while SunGold Kiwifruit sales are projected to increase by 25%, reflecting improved growing conditions, increased yields and new production.

He notes that this season’s strong harvest was even more pleasing given the challenges faced by growers in both Europe and Asia last year. Kirton says that following a season review, Zespri initiated action plans across all Northern Hemisphere regions to address the issues of last season to focus on outcomes that would lift returns for growers.

He says this included on-orchard and supply chain improvements and working closely with market teams to achieve the best outcome for growers.

“Last year was a particularly tough season for our growers in Europe and Asia, with sustained extreme heat and weather events impacting fruit size, yield and quality. It is fantastic to see the orchards rebound this year.”

Zespri expects its Northern Hemisphere supply programme will continue to grow and to double in volume by 2030.

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