The harvest of Zespri kiwifruit from Northern Hemisphere orchards is well underway, with total volumes expected to reach more than 19 million trays this season.
Zespri Chief International Production Officer Sheila McCann-Morrison said the volume is up due to a strategy to supply consumers all year.
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"This year's Northern Hemisphere harvest is expected to exceed 19.1 million trays, which is almost 25 percent up on the 15.4 million trays recorded in 2017/18," she said.
This includes close to 10.5 million trays of SunGold compared to 6.3 million trays last year and 8 million trays of green kiwifruit versus 9 last year.
Ms McCann-Morrison said Zespri is looking forward to completing the New Zealand season by the end of the year while transitioning to supply from our Northern Hemisphere locations.
"Growth in our offshore supply allows us to meet increasing consumer demand for our premium quality kiwifruit and ensure that our brand remains top of mind in the three-to-four months of the year when our New Zealand-grown kiwifruit is unavailable," she said.
Zespri has developed long-term partnerships with non-New Zealand-based growers and suppliers to provide Zespri kiwifruit in Italy, South Korea, Japan and France.
Ms McCann-Morrison said Europe remains Zespri's most significant source of non-New Zealand-grown kiwifruit, with Italy supplying more than 90 percent of total volumes and more than 9 million trays of SunGold.
Outside of Europe, Zespri expects to see continued growth in Asia and is focusing on increasing the supply of SunGold in Japan and South Korea to meet strong demand.
Zespri also continues to explore the potential for a 12-month supply programme in China.