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NZ kiwifruit growers to vote on expanding SunGold variety year round

Kiwifruit growers can now vote on whether they think Zespri should increase plantings of the lucrative SunGold variety in existing production locations overseas. New Zealand kiwifruit marketer Zespri wants to increase plantings in Italy, France, Greece, Korea and Japan by up to 10,000 hectares to ensure it has SunGold to sell all year round.

Voting on the proposal opened on 28 July and growers have until 24 August to cast their vote; the idea needs 75 percent of growers support to pass.

Company chief global supply officer Alastair Hulbert said the current approval of 5000 hectares for Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit outside of New Zealand was not going to produce sufficient fruit to achieve 12-month supply in key markets.

"By 2031, the current approved hectares would meet less than 30 percent of the demand in the New Zealand off-season. The proposed expansion of up to 10,000 additional hectares of Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit would allow us to meet up to 90 percent of that demand - achieving 12-month supply in key markets.”

"If the vote is successful how we've structured the plantings is we're going to do a first tranche that takes us from now until 2028, and that'll be 6000 hectares. And every year, we will report to the industry the progress of those plantings.”


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