The 2021 harvest season of Zespri kiwi fruit is in full swing. The first shipping container of this season's Zespri kiwi fruit arrived in China on the 31st of March. The kiwi fruit passed through customs and was sold via e-commerce platform Pagoda. Chinese consumers had to wait a bit longer than usual for the fresh New Zealand kiwi fruit to arrive. In previous years the kiwi fruit was available on the market one day after its arrival in the port, but this year the kiwi fruit took 3-4 days.
"The delay was primarily to put consumers at ease," said a spokesperson for Pagoda. "Zespri kiwi fruit was subjected to more inspection and quarantine procedures than in previous years to make sure there was no risk of Covid-19 infection. The kiwi fruit passed RNA-tests and underwent disinfection procedures. Only after several tests was the fruit distributed via Pagoda."
Zespri is an excellent kiwi fruit brand and Pagoda has a great distribution network. That is why this is the fourth year in a row that Pagoda is selling Zespri kiwi fruit. "Eat Zespri at Pagoda," that is a well known phrase among Chinese consumers.
According to Jiang Shijie, director of Zespri China, the cooperation between Zespri and Pagoda began in 2004. In 2018 the two companies established a direct supply chain. In the same year, Pagoda sold more than 1.8 million boxes of Zespri kiwi fruit. That is an estimated total of 45 million kiwis. Pagoda is the most reliable distributor of Zespri kiwi fruit in China. Their sales volume of Zespri kiwi fruit has continued to grow in the last three years. Even during the pandemic year of 2020, Pagoda reached their sales target of 2.75 million boxes.