The first kiwis are on their way from New Zealand to the Port of Zeebrugge in Belgium. They are expected to arrive by the end of April. "Sales will start in week 18," says Bert Barmans, General Manager of Zespri Europe.
"We have an increased volume of SunGold kiwis this year. We can sell 15 to 20% more of this fruit than last year. We set ourselves up for this growth, and it is now being realized."
“This year, the fruit is a little smaller than last year. This is a result of all the rain in New Zealand. However, last year, the fruit was unusually large, so this year's size can be called normal. When it comes to taste, we can expect a top product. The taste of both the green and SunGold is of an exceptionally high level. It is even better than last year," says Bert.
Kiwis being harvested in New Zealand
“Higher volumes of green kiwis are still sold in Europe. However, within three or four years, there will be an equal share of green and SunGold kiwis. Things look different when you look at the cultivation. Here, this year, for the first time, there are equal volumes of both varieties. This is needed to meet the demand of the global market."
“The Asian markets are, in contrast to Europe, real 'gold' markets. The kiwi's popularity is, however, only growing in Europe. The extra SunGold volumes supplement the green kiwi volumes on the market. They are not replacing them," the General Manager continues.
“We still see growth in the market. This is during both the New Zealand season as well as other countries, such as Italy's, seasons. We are also working on other varieties. We will put them on the market in the near future."
“We must still wait a whole week before the first volumes get here. However, we are looking forward to the new season with confidence," Barmans concludes.