Zespri's RubyRed exports up threefold

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Zespri's RubyRed exports up threefold

New Zealand kiwifruit marketer Zespri reported a major increase in export volumes for its RubyRed kiwifruit variety, with 330,000 trays shipped to date, Stuff.nz reports.

The rise put the proprietary cultivar up three times its previous export figures.

Main destination markets for this season’s RubyReds include Japan, China, Singapore and Taiwan.

This comes as the company’s latest financial results saw sales volumes down from 201.5 million trays to 183.5 million.

Total global fruit sales revenue reached $2.38 billion in 2022-23, down 3% from 2021-22’ record result.

Related articles: Zespri’s 2022-23 financial results reflect one of its “toughest-ever seasons”

New Zealand’s kiwifruit season faced multiple woes, with cyclone Gabrielle and unusually wet weather greatly impacting production in most growing areas.

Additionally, the sector is facing fruit quality issues driven by the industry’s severe labor shortage, cost increases, and supply chain challenges. 

The RubyRed variety is naturally smaller than other kiwifruit cultivars, however fruit size is still below average this season.

Zespri’s chief grower and sustainability officer Carol Ward told the website that, while the red variety has accomplished good numbers, it is still only in its second commercial production season.

Ward says growing new commercialized varieties came with “inherent uncertainties” and that the smaller fruit size was one of the possibilities.

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