Successful season for Zespri kiwi exports

Successful season for Zespri kiwi exports

The New Zealand Zespri kiwi season is in full swing and Jochen Wyns, Benelux Regional Market Manager, calls it ‘fantastic’. “In the first three sales weeks, a record number of kiwi trays were shipped in the Netherlands and Belgium,” he says.

This success comes after what Jochen refers to as a ‘reset year’. Quality problems caused by climate issues and the pandemic marred 2022. “So, last year, we monitored all processes – from harvesting in the kiwi orchards to deliveries to our customers – and fine-tuned them where necessary. Quality is a priority for Zespri; our foundation is built on that. We, thus, keep a close eye on that with every ship and load.”

In 2022, climate conditions limited volumes to 136 million trays of Zespri Green, SunGold, and RubyRed. Thanks to good weather, that rose sharply this year to 193 million trays.

zespri kiwi

“Zespri SunGold’s popularity and, therefore, demand keeps growing. Zespri Green kiwis, though, are doing exceptionally well again, too, after what was a definite dip in supply last year,” Jochen explains.

Everyone is happy this year, on both the supply and demand side. Despite the disappointing weather in recent months, the feeling is positive. “Last year, inflation impacted buying behaviour. Our stocks were, however, also very limited. That may have been to our advantage at the time because even then, kiwi demand outweighed the supply. Europe’s demand for Zespri kiwis rises annually, and we, of course, continue to focus on that. This year, our sales channels and shoppers are undeniably eager for the beautiful new crop.”

Organic on the rise

The Netherlands and Belgium are important markets for Zespri. “Zespri kiwis have a strong position on fruit shelves, which expands every year,” Wyns remarks, adding that demand for organic kiwis, especially Zespri SunGold Organic and Zespri Green Organic, keeps rising. “As that increases, we focus on growing with as many partners as possible. In the Netherlands and Belgium, we’re working on gradually bringing more organic Zespri SunGold and Zespri Green to market. Demand is noticeably rising, and we want to develop this segment further.”

Free trade deal boost

The recently signed free trade accord between New Zealand and the EU adds to this optimism. The deal includes eliminating tariffs on New Zealand kiwi exports to the EU, allowing Zespri to increase its European exports.

“This agreement came into force on May 1 and means that from then on, kiwi imports from New Zealand were immediately no longer subject to the 8.8% tariff. That offers us a long-term advantage, especially in our efforts to increase our exports to Europe,” Jochen concludes.

Scroll to Top