New Zealand kiwifruit marketer Zespri has recognized possibilities in one of the world’s fastest-growing kiwifruit producing nations, Iran.
In a release, New Zealand Minister of Primary Industries Nathan Guy said he had witnessed an agreement in Tehran enabling the resumption of sheep and beef exports to Iran, and witnessed Zespri signaling its willingness to explore the development of the kiwifruit market.
“This is a crucial step for New Zealand meat companies as they look to re-enter the Iranian market,” Guy said.
The agreement was witnessed with Iranian Minister of Agriculture Mahmoud Hojjati during their meeting in Tehran yesterday. The Ministers also discussed an action plan for agricultural cooperation in the year ahead.
Ministers Guy and Hojjati also witnessed the signing of a Statement of Intent between Zespri and Iran’s Ministry of Agriculture acknowledging the potential of the Iranian market as a large fruit consuming and growing country.
“Current import conditions mean that New Zealand is unable to export kiwifruit to Iran. However the letter of intent outlines undertakings to further explore commercial opportunities in Iran,” Guy said.
Iran has well established kiwifruit orchards and supply chains, and operates in a counter seasonal supply window to New Zealand.
“This visit is an important opportunity to strengthen our agricultural relationship, following the signing of an Agricultural Cooperation Arrangement last year,” Guy said.
“Iran has traditionally been an important market for New Zealand agricultural exporters, particularly dairy, and this visit has identified areas in which we can diversify these commercial ties and further technical cooperation.”
In a statement given to Fresh Fruit Portal, Zespri COO Simon Limmer reiterated the statement of intent acknowledged the potential of the Iranian market as a large fruit-consuming and growing country.
“This outlines our intention to further explore commercial opportunities in Iran in accordance with NZ and international law. Current import conditions mean that New Zealand is unable to export kiwifruit to Iran,” Limmer said.
“Iran has a significant kiwifruit production industry. Along with the other producing regions around the world, we are working to understand its impact on the global kiwifruit market and consider any associated opportunities which may arise.
“As part of our strategy to grow the overall kiwifruit category around the world, Zespri works alongside other kiwifruit-producing countries on issues of common interest, such as the health attributes of kiwifruit, or pests and disease which may be impacting production.”
The conclusion of a Meat Arrangement between the Iranian Veterinary Organisation (IVO) and the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries provides the conditions for chilled and frozen sheep and beef exports to resume with Iran, the second largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa region.