Kiwifruit growers in the southern hemisphere are seeing a dramatic drop in European exports due to a surplus of gold kiwifruit in Europe.
Chilean growers in particular have been affected by reduced European exports, with 2022 seeing only 62% of their 2021 export volume to date.
Carlos Cruzat, the president of the Chilean Kiwifruit Committee explains the situation;
"Zespri has been putting increasing pressure on the markets in order to market its yellow kiwifruit supply, delaying the sale of its green kiwifruit, so Europe has had to delay the start of its campaign until mid-December."
Mr. Cruzat adds;
"The yellow kiwifruit industry has grown very rapidly; in fact, 20 years ago it didn't even exist. Zespri has bet very heavily on this fruit and today its production amounts to around 420,000 tons, while its production of green kiwifruit stands at around 250,000 tons."
Since its introduction, Zespri has capitalized heavily on gold kiwifruit. Zespri owns a number of varietals, including a gold variety bred by SNZI's Don Skelton- which Zespri first used to open up the Asian market.
Don continues to lead the way in the breeding of new kiwifruit varietals.
Despite the delay in exports to Europe, worldwide demand has grown dramatically.
"The pandemic gave a boost to the demand for foods with high vitamin C contents ... kiwifruit has twice as much vitamin C as an orange, as well as the same amount of potassium as a banana, and a very similar amount of vitamins to that of avocados. In recent times, the nutraceutical value of kiwifruit has been recognized and its consumption has gone from being associated with a better digestion to being associated with a better health"
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