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Greek kiwifruit volumes on the rise

Production of kiwifruit in Greece is expected to increase this season over production from past seasons. Recently planted orchards reaching maturity is one of the reasons for the increase, but a more professional industry is also a factor in the country's dominance as a major producer and exporter of kiwifruit.

“We're expecting a 25 percent increase in the amount of fruit this season when compared to the previous season,” said Christina Manossis of Zeus Kiwi. “That's both for Zeus Kiwi and for the entire country.” A new metric to measure the maturity of fruit will ensure fruit shipped by Zeus Kiwi will have a good eating quality, noted Manossis, because, in addition to brix levels, a dry marker metric will be taken into account. Nonetheless, the average fruit size is expected to be a size smaller than the average size from the previous season.

“Small sizes are a result of pollination.” But the prevalence of smaller fruit won't be a marketing challenge, she assured, because, among the wide network of export destinations the country's shippers have, there are countries that will take smaller fruit.

Shipments are slated to begin arriving in Europe around the first week of November, which is sooner than what is usually the case. The high sugar content found in fruit merited an earlier start to the export season than the normal start date, which is normally deeper into November.

“For the first time, we will have normal kiwifruit programs in Lebanon and Kuwait,” noted Manossis. “For Poland, we still don't have a normal program, so exports there will be based on supply and demand.” Zeus Kiwi's expansion into new countries continues with efforts to obtain licenses to ship to South Korea and Brazil. Manossis hopes to get a license to ship to the latter country next season, but the license for South Korea is still a ways off.

“We applied for a license to S.Korea almost 3 years ago, but this is normal, as other EU countries such as Italy received the license to export after 7 years” China continues to be an interesting market for many Greek exporters. Consumers there prefer sweeter fruit, so shippers are want to send varieties, like the golden kiwi, that have a sweeter taste profile than the standard Hayward. While, in theory, Zeus Kiwi competes with local production as well as rival exporters from Greece and around the world, the Chinese market is large enough to accommodate most volume sent there.

“China is a huge market that we can never supply with enough fruit,” said Manossis. “There is Chinese fruit present in the market, but it can’t be compared as ZEUS kiwi is a fruit of high added value because of its quality and sustainability." I believe there's room for everyone in China, so there's really no need for any competition between Greek exporters.”

For more information:
Christina Manossis
Zeus Kiwi - Greece
Tel. +30 2351 053559
Dir. Line +30 2351 045395
Fax. +30 2351 053901
Skype Christina.manossis

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