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New season Zespri kiwifruit due to arrive in Europe

The new season New Zealand kiwifruit is aboard MV Cool Eagle, a new specialised reefer vessel built by Cool Carriers, with the ship expected to arrive on Sunday 18 April. MV Cool Eagle is one of a series of five ships that are the largest reefer vessels ever built and will carry over 7,000 pallets of fruit making MV Cool Eagle the largest vessel to carry Zespri Kiwifruit to date. The vessel will discharge her cargo of Zespri SunGold TM Kiwifruit in the Port of Zeebrugge, Belgium.

The first shipment of Zespri Green Kiwifruit is expected to leave for Europe in May.

Giorgio Comino, Zespri Executive Officer Europe and North America, says MV Cool Eagle is the first of five planned charter reefer vessels to Northern Europe under Zespri’s shipping programme this season.
“As we finish up sales of our non-New Zealand grown crop, we’re looking forward to the arrival of the MV Cool Eagle to begin our new season,” says Mr Comino.

“There’s been good pollination and rainfall season, which has helped with fruit sizing and it’s looking like another great-tasting crop.

“This season we’re expecting to supply nearly 20 percent more Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit to Europe, and around the same level of Green as last season.”

Mr Comino says with this season’s harvest now underway across all growing regions in New Zealand, the wider kiwifruit industry was again working hard to ensure it can safely pick, pack and ship another
delicious crop of Zespri TM Kiwifruit.

“There has been a tremendous effort from everyone in the kiwifruit industry to respond to the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19,” says Mr Comino.

“While New Zealand remains in level one, the industry will again be embracing additional safety protocols and embracing enhanced hygiene practices throughout the supply chain, and concentrating on
delivering more fresh, healthy fruit to its customers and consumers in Europe.”

Mr Comino confirmed that this season’s marketing campaigns would again feature the Kiwi Brothers following a successful launch in six core European markets last season.

“This year, we are integrating these popular characters on our prepacks and through promotions with our retailers. We’re also excited to begin rolling out new cardboard packaging lines this season, after significant investment in our Zeebrugge packing station, and this season Zespri TM will be able to offer nine million
prepacks without plastic flow wrap, reflecting our commitment to sustainability.”

With the new season approaching, Mr Comino is looking forward to again working with Zespri’s long term suppliers and partners.
“Our suppliers and partners continue to play a major part in our successes throughout the year, and we would like to recognise them for their work delivering our fruit to consumers, despite the challenges
presented by COVID-19.”

For more information:
Ellen Van Looveren

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