Ze­spri boosts SunGold in Italy

Ze­spri will al­lo­cate an ad­di­tional 1,800 hectares of Euro­pean SunGold li­cence over the next three years, dou­bling pro­duc­tion of the pro­pri­etary ki­wifruit va­ri­ety in Europe. The first 1,200 hectares will be in Italy with the re­main­ing 600 hectares still to

The Orchardist - - Kiwifruit -

Ze­spri chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Si­mon Lim­mer ex­plains this sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment to ex­tend Ze­spri’s sup­ply base in Europe is driven by grow­ing year-round de­mand for Ze­spri Ki­wifruit.

“Twelve-month sup­ply is a key part of Ze­spri’s strat­egy and this in­vest­ment aligns our off­shore pro­duc­tion with the strong in­creases in New Zealand SunGold vol­umes, set to dou­ble to around 90 mil­lion trays over the next five years.”

Ze­spri pres­i­dent global sales and mar­ket­ing Daniel Mathieson said Ze­spri in­vested around NZ$160 mil­lion last year in tar­geted mar­ket­ing at trade and con­sumer

lev­els, which ben­e­fits the en­tire ki­wifruit cat­e­gory.

“Ki­wifruit makes up just 0.22 per­cent of glob­ally traded fruit: our goal is to grow ki­wifruit con­sump­tion around the world. Large-scale in­vest­ments like this help us achieve that goal and meet the very strong con­sumer de­mand for this great-tast­ing, qual­ity fruit, which has brought real

ex­cite­ment to the global ki­wifruit cat­e­gory.

This sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment will be ini­tially de­liv­ered through the long­stand­ing part­ner­ship with four Ital­ian sup­pli­ers – Apofruit, Ale­gra– In­tesa, Salvi Una­coa and Spreafico – the four sup­pli­ers orig­i­nally con­tracted with Ze­spri in 2000 to pro­duce the pre­vi­ous gold va­ri­ety Hort16A which ig­nited the gold cat­e­gory world­wide. SunGold and the ear­lier gold va­ri­ety Hort16A were de­vel­oped by Ze­spri and Plant & Food Re­search as part of the an­nual NZ$50 mil­lion in­vest­ment by New

Zealand’s ki­wifruit in­dus­try and gov­ern­ment in in­no­va­tion, which in­cludes breed­ing new va­ri­eties to at­tract new con­sumers to eat ki­wifruit reg­u­larly.

Cur­rent pro­duc­tion of Ze­spri SunGold in Italy is over 4 mil­lion trays this year from 800 pro­duc­ing SunGold hectares. There are an­other 850 li­cenced hectares in the ground, which will come into full pro­duc­tion in the next few years; the com­bined vol­ume of the ex­ist­ing 1,650 hectares and the new 1,200 hectares will see Ze­spri’s Ital­ian SunGold vol­ume quadru­ple to around 15 mil­lion trays in the next five years. The vol­ume from the ad­di­tional 600 hectares would be on top of that.

“Twelve-month sup­ply is a key part of Ze­spri’s strat­egy and this in­vest­ment aligns our off­shore pro­duc­tion with the strong in­creases in New Zealand SunGold vol­umes, set to dou­ble to around 90 mil­lion trays over the next five years.”

Mean­while, the brown mar­moratd stink bug in­cur­sion in Italy has had a low im­pact on fruit vol­umes, ac­cord­ing to Ze­spri global pro­duc­tion man­ager Shane Max.

“The BMSB in­cur­sion is af­fect­ing a wide range of crops in the north­ern fruit-grow­ing re­gions of Italy, in­clud­ing crops like ap­ples, pears and ki­wifruit.While some Ze­spri or­chards were af­fected last year, the over­all im­pact of fruit vol­umes is presently low. “The Ital­ian phy­tosan­i­tary agen­cies re­spon­si­ble for deal­ing with crop pro­tec­tion are very aware of the im­pact BMSB could have on agri­cul­tural com­mu­ni­ties and are ac­tively work­ing on con­trol strate­gies. Ze­spri has been work­ing with these agen­cies and has in place its own mon­i­tor­ing and re­search pro­grammes to bet­ter un­der­stand the pest and po­ten­tial con­trol solutions in Ze­spri or­chards. “We are mo­bil­is­ing our global re­sources, both off­shore field teams in Europe and Asia, and Ze­spri In­no­va­tion (our R&D team) based in NZ. We are also work­ing closely with those agen­cies re­spon­si­ble for biose­cu­rity in NZ: Ki­wifruit Vine Health and the Min­istry of Pri­mary In­dus­tries.”

Daniel Mathieson Si­mon Lim­mer

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