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2024 New Zealand Zespri kiwi fruit season grand opening

On April 11, the "Belief, Heritage, Pioneering - 2024 New Zealand Season Opening Conference" organized by Zespri New Zealand kiwifruits was held, marking the official commencement of Zespri kiwifruit business development in the Chinese market for 2024.

The inaugural voyage of the season's Zespri kiwifruits refrigerated charter ship, named "Kowhai," embarked from the Port of Tauranga, New Zealand, on March 26. In less than 12 days, it successfully delivered approximately 2,100 tons of fresh Zespri kiwifruits to Nangang, Shanghai. To date, three refrigerated charter ships laden with Zespri kiwifruits have arrived in China. For the 2024 season, a total of 22 chartered ships loaded with Zespri kiwifruits are slated for supply to the Chinese market, including Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. The anticipated total volume is 193,000 tons, constituting 27% of Zespri's global market supply and securing its position as the leading supplier in a single-country market.

Amidst one of its most prolific seasons in history, Zespri maintains a buoyant outlook on the Chinese market
At the opening conference, Mr. Nathan Flowerday, Chairman of Zespri International, and Mr. Daniel Mathieson, CEO of Zespri International, graced the occasion to celebrate the harvest with Zespri China partners and deliberate on future development plans for the Chinese market.

The New Zealand kiwifruit season progresses favorably, poised to become one of Zespri's most significant seasons to date. Mr. Michael Jiang, President of Zespri Greater China, affirmed, "China stands as one of Zespri's pivotal strategic markets globally. We are poised with confidence and comprehensive readiness for robust Zespri kiwifruit sales in the Chinese market for 2024." Currently, Zespri's brand dominance ranks highest in the imported fruit category, boasting record-breaking brand awareness. With distribution channels spanning 72 cities in China and encompassing 55,000 retail outlets, the objective is to introduce more Chinese consumers to the delectable and nutritious Zespri kiwifruits.

Zespri SunGold™ sales in the Chinese market this year are anticipated to claim nearly one-third of the global share. Additionally, Zespri's latest offering, Ruby Red kiwifruit (RubyRed™), possessing independent new plant variety rights, is projected to capture 50% of the global market share in the Chinese market. Simultaneously, Zespri aims to double sales in the Chinese market by 2028, aspiring to supply over 60 million standard retail boxes.

Furthering the establishment of China's ecological circle and fostering the expansion of mutually beneficial economic ties between China and New Zealand remain focal points
At the conference, Mr. Nathan Flowerday engaged in comprehensive discussions with strategic partners of the Zespri China Ecosystem.

He underscored: "The high degree of seasonal complementarity between New Zealand and China in agricultural product trade effectively bridges the gap in China's harvest season and fulfills the demand of Chinese consumers for imported fresh fruits in spring. This remarkable complementarity stands as a distinct advantage for Zespri kiwifruits in expanding the Chinese market."

Regarding ecosystem construction, he remarked, "I have consistently championed Zespri's China ecosystem development and deeply acknowledge the significant efforts invested by our Chinese strategic partners. Their substantial investments in port infrastructure, logistics, warehousing, testing, technology, and standardized services reflect their confidence in the Zespri brand, which is truly heartening. I commend the strategic foresight of our Chinese partners. Zespri is committed to leveraging the robust economic and trade synergies between China and New Zealand, intensifying collaborative relationships with Chinese strategic partners, and fortifying a resilient supply chain to achieve sustainable mutual benefits."

Elevating the brand image to promote healthier dietary habits among Chinese consumers
The Zespri brand unveiled its newly introduced cartoon character health ambassadors, the "Kiwi Brothers," coinciding with the arrival of the season's inaugural ship. Throughout 2024, Zespri China will utilize the "Kiwi Brothers" imagery to deepen consumer engagement, elucidating the health, action, and environmental benefits of Zespri kiwifruit to every consumer. This initiative aims to foster a deeper understanding of the health advantages offered by Zespri kiwifruits and encourage the adoption of healthy dietary practices.

During the opening conference, Mr. Nathan Flowerday and his delegation also met with Shanghai leaders. They engaged in amicable discussions encompassing port cooperation, intellectual property protection, and collaborative efforts to enhance the business environment. Mr. Nathan Flowerday expressed gratitude, stating, "I extend heartfelt appreciation to the Shanghai government at all levels for fostering a conducive business environment and staunchly safeguarding Zespri's brand intellectual property rights, pivotal in facilitating Zespri kiwifruit's commendable growth in China. As the foremost kiwifruit brand globally, Zespri remains committed to the 'in China, benefit China' development principle, pledging continued contributions to the 'Healthy China' initiative."

Source: Zespri

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