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Consultation on the 12-month supply strategy

This article is published in the February 2022 Kiwiflier.

Zespri’s strategy is to market the world’s leading portfolio of kiwifruit for all 12 months of the year. Establishing a 12-month supply means we can maintain trade relationships and shelf space throughout the year, keep our kiwifruit on shelves for our consumers and customers and continue to deliver strong returns to growers.

For over twenty years, this has involved working with Northern Hemisphere growers in Italy, France, Greece, Korea and Japan to provide our consumers with Zespriquality Hayward, Hort16a, and more recently SunGold Kiwifruit. In 2019, growers gave strong support for this through a Producer Vote and approved Zespri continuing to grow and procure kiwifruit outside of New Zealand (excluding China and Chile) within the following parameters:

  • Up to 5,000ha (50 million trays) of SunGold Kiwifruit
  • Up to 20 million trays of Green Kiwifruit
  • Up to 1,000ha of any other new variety

In the 2021/22 season, ZGS is forecast to supply ~17 million trays of SunGold Kiwifruit and ~10 million trays of Green Kiwifruit. This will extend the Zespri sales season for many retailers, and allow a 12-month supply of Green at low volumes in limited markets, but is not sufficient to provide 12-month supply of SunGold Kiwifruit. ZGS is expected to complete SunGold Kiwifruit planting up to the limit of 5,000hacin 2023 and when those hectares are all in full production, this is expected to generate around 40 million trays of fruit. However, with New Zealand growers continuing to produce more fruit to meet growing market demand, ZGS production from the approved 5,000 hectares will be well short of the production required to hold shelf-space in the New Zealand off-season.

To address this, Zespri has established a 2030 ZGS strategy which outlines how ZGS can best support New Zealand growers in the months where no New Zealand-grown fruit is available. The strategy focuses on how ZGS can expand to meet market demand by lifting productivity and planting more orchards across Northern Hemisphere locations, and lifting procurement of Hayward in Italy and Greece. If the 2030 ZGS Strategy is achieved, ZGS will be able to supply significantly increased volumes and meet target demand for Hayward and supply up to 80% of target demand for SunGold Kiwifruit by 2030 – achieving 12-month supply in key markets.

Zespri is now initiating a discussion with New Zealand growers on this strategy to expand Northern Hemisphere production to extend the sales season with the aim of achieving 12-month supply. The strategy continues to exclude the production of fruit in China or Chile. Feedback from roadshows, supply entity meetings, NZKGI and from other discussions will help inform our next steps. Under the Kiwifruit Export Regulations, a Producer Vote is required to expand beyond the current 5,000ha threshold and consideration is being given to undertaking this alongside the 2022 AGM.

From early March, a website will be available to provide growers with more information on the discussion at https://zespriproducervote.zes.... Growers will be able to view background information on how ZGS operates, the benefits and risks of 12-month supply and performance metrics for ZGS. Growers can also use the website to provide feedback, submit any questions they may have or request additional information. Zespri will utilise the feedback received to determine our next steps, including whether to proceed with Producer Vote and what the parameters might be.