zespriNEW ZEALAND kiwifruit marketer Zespri is investigating the possibility of partnering with Chinese growers, in a bid to shore up year-round supply for what may become its biggest market in the coming years.

The group’s corporate relations manager for China, Matt Crawford, says the idea is still in its early stages. “There’s huge growth in domestic production here in China and we’ve started to see some big players getting involved. The question Zespri is asking itself now is, is there potential for us to look at growing or partnering in China? What we’ve been doing is looking around the regions that grow kiwifruit and trying to see who’s growing, what the variety is, how much is being grown what the cost is,” he says.

This cautious approach to standards is one that Zespri has also taken for its growing partnerships in Northern Hemisphere countries like Italy, France, Japan and South Korea.

“Zespri doesn’t own any orchards around the world but we own our plant varieties so they can grow our fruit; we purchase from them and sell it on their behalf,” Crawford says.packshot 2 halfjes