Zespri collaborates with Crown Research to create new types of kiwifruit

  • December 03, 2020 02:25 PM AEDT
  • Team Kalkine
Zespri collaborates with Crown Research to create new types of kiwifruit


  • Zespri wants to create a Kiwifruit Breeding Centre in collaboration with Crown research institute Plant & Food Research (PFR).
  • The 50-50 joint venture aims to strengthen the work already being done in the breeding programme that is run in alliance with PFR.
  • Zespri signed a trial project with Sichuan State-owned Assets Operation and Investment Management to progress in the development of the Chinese kiwi industry.

NZ based Zespri International is a world leader in kiwifruit sales. The Company is in plans to create a Kiwifruit Breeding Centre in collaboration with Crown research institute Plant & Food Research (PFR).

Image Source: Shutterstock

As per an update, Dan Mathieson Chief Executive of Zespri stated that the planned centre would be devoted to breeding new kiwifruit cultivars, forming better, healthier and more varieties with a focus on sustainability to achieve the increasing demand.

He added that it would be an exciting step forward for the industry and a genuine development of a 30-year relationship between Zespri and PFR, which has resulted in robust returns.

Zespri’s record-breaking harvest this season

2020 had been a challenging year due to the global impact of coronavirus, but Zespri has been able to sail through the tough times. About 3000 tonnes of green kiwifruit was shipped to Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, and Greater China.

Alastair Hulbert Chief global supply officer of Zespri stated that the kiwifruit maker chartered 49 vessels and made use of about 18,000 refrigerated containers to supply about 157 million class 1 trays of Zespri Green, SunGold, and Zespri Red Kiwifruit to over 50 nations this season.

Zespri launched a trial project in China

Zespri has regarded China as its most significant market since the Company entered into the country. The kiwi fruit maker exports about 100,000 tonnes of kiwifruit to China, the largest market of Zespri. The Company signed a memorandum of intent for a trial design with Sichuan State-owned Assets Operation and Investment Management.

The pilot project will last for about 3 years, and performance evaluation would be done each year. The primary aim of the project would be to successfully investigate the results of the collaboration between Zespri and the local industry.

Going ahead

Zespri is likely to boost its kiwifruit breeding investment by 50% over the next 10 years with an additional investment by Zespri and PFR.

Although the centre was scheduled to open in mid-2021, Mathieson said any final choice on its creation would entail the consent of both the Zespri and PFR boards, as well as the PFR shareholding ministers, which is a Crown Research Institute operated by the government.

Along with functioning out of Kerikeri, Motueka and Mt Albert, the centre is expected to be located in Te Puke, and to have an offshore presence in nations like Italy and China.


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