Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Zespri expects big 2024 rebound

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Kiwifruit marketer excited for what is expected to be a bumper crop.
Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services
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Zespri is expecting to ship about 193 million trays of kiwifruit to markets around the world this year.

While it’s still early in the season, Zespri’s latest supply estimate reflects the positive growing conditions seen across New Zealand in recent months. 

This season’s crop will be a significant increase on the 133 million NZ trays shipped last season and also up on the 175 million trays shipped in 2021.

Chief executive Dan Mathieson said the key focus this year is delivering consistently good quality fruit to customers and consumers throughout the season to help maximise the value returned to growers and communities.

“It’s been a far more settled growing environment compared to the last couple of seasons, when growers were facing a number of challenges, including the impact of covid-19, the significant labour shortage in 2022 and the many climatic events that New Zealand experienced in 2023.

“While it’s still early, the crop is looking excellent and there’s a lot of excitement and optimism in the industry.

“That excitement is shared by our customers, who are keenly anticipating having a lot more kiwifruit to meet the strong demand we’re seeing across our markets.”

Mathieson said managing the increased volume of fruit throughout the supply chain and delivering consistently good quality fruit are the key considerations in the industry’s season planning process.

“We’re trying to make sure we’re striking the right balance of having a good source of early season fruit to capitalise on early season sales opportunities, and having fruit that stores well so that we can have a consistent flow of fruit through the season and minimise late season quality issues.”

Mathieson said Zespri is closely monitoring the disruption to international shipping.

“After a tough couple of years there’s a lot of excitement about the year ahead and we’re well prepared as we get the season started through harvest over the coming weeks,” Mathieson said.

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