Zespri operating revenue exceeds NZ$3B for first time

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Zespri operating revenue exceeds NZ$3B for first time

New Zealand kiwifruit marketer Zespsi says that its operating revenue from global kiwifruit sales and license release last season has exceeded NZ$3 billion (US$1.95 billion) for the first time, on the back of growth in both volume and value and across all fruit categories.

The results reflect continued strong international demand, with Zespri selling a total of 167.2 million trays of kiwifruit in 2018-19, a 21% increase on the 138.6 million trays sold in the previous season.

Revenue generated by global kiwifruit sales and SunGold license release increased by 26% to NZ$3.14 billion (US$2 billion).   

Total fruit and service payments (including the loyalty premium) to New Zealand growers was up 24% to NZ$1.82 billion, while average orchard gate returns to growers increased by 6% to NZ$63,622 per hectare for Green Kiwifruit, by 28% to NZ$145,991 per hectare for SunGold, by 40% to NZ$73,350 for Green Organic and by 14% to NZ$44,549 per hectare for Sweet Green.

Zespri chair Bruce Cameron says growers and their communities are benefiting from increasing demand for Zespri kiwifruit and from the industry’s growth to drive and meet that demand. 

“Consumers around the world are increasingly embracing healthier products and want more of our kiwifruit because they know it is a convenient way to get their daily nutrition and because it tastes great," he says.

“That’s evident in the increased volumes of both Green and SunGold Kiwifruit Zespri sold last season which has driven record average returns per hectare for both categories. While SunGold also returned record levels per tray, Green returns per tray were down slightly because of higher-than-expected volumes which led to an extended sales window and associated increases in quality costs.

“The sustained growth of the industry is really encouraging and the increase in average returns is helping growers meet increasing operational costs including labour.

Zespri’s ongoing success reflects the important partnerships we have and continue to build with our customers, distributors, post-harvest operators and growers, and is a strong endorsement of our 12-month supply strategy and ambition to market the world’s leading portfolio of kiwifruit year-round."

Outlook for 2019-20 

Zespri CEO Dan Mathieson says it’s been another strong year for Zespri and the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, with strong growth forecast again this year. 

“We’re very pleased with the progress made in the 2018/19 season but as always we’re focused on doing better, delivering the world’s best kiwifruit to consumers and creating more value for our growers, and all of our partners," he says. “Our ambition is to help drive greater value through growing new markets and increase our penetration in existing ones.  

“We’re continuing to see strong growth in our largest markets, including Japan, China and Spain, and making real progress in newer ones like the US. We’re also broadening our sales channels and getting closer to the consumer to help us understand what they want and what we can do better, and focusing on improving our environmental and social impact which is an important part of our purpose and brand-led strategy.  

“We’re proud of our performance and excited about our prospects, but we know there’s more we can do which is why we’ll be working hard to do even better next year."


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