Zespri recently signed a memorandum of intent for a trial project with Sichuan State-owned Assets Operation and Investment Management, in hopes of advancing the development of the Chinese kiwi industry through cooperation throughout the supply chain.
Daniel Mathieson, CEO of Zespri said, “The signing of this memorandum of intent is not only an important milestone for Zespri in our effort to work with China to grow kiwifruit locally, but is also an important manifestation of our global brand development strategy. We hope that with our world-leading management technology and best practices, we can help Chinese growers improve their growing techniques and increase their income. This would be a win-win for both parties.”
Since the New Zealand kiwi brand entered the Chinese market, Zespri has regarded China as its most important strategic market. At present, China is the company’s largest market, to which it exports about 100,000 tons of kiwifruit. Among the exports, more than 90% are grown in New Zealand, and the rest are grown by partners in the northern hemisphere. Over the years, Zespri’s vision for China is not only to become a well-known fruit marketer but also to work with Chinese local growers and industry chain partners to provide Chinese consumers with consistently high-quality products throughout the year.
This pilot project will last three years and the performance will be evaluated each year. The purpose of this project is to effectively explore the results of cooperation between Zespri and the local industry. The cooperation between the two parties will officially begin next year. As Daniel shared at the 3rd China International Import Expo, if the project goes smoothly and the production and quality reach Zespri’s standards, it is expected that within five years, the local production of SunGold in China will reach 50,000 tons, and China will become an important production base for the company in the northern hemisphere.