Zespri welcomes the announcement by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment that it will support a renewed partnership with Zespri to develop new kiwifruit products and breeding technologies.
Under the partnership, MBIE will invest $6.7 million with Zespri's contribution of $15.7 million over the next seven years. The partnership aims to develop at least one novel fresh fruit product type by 2030 and could increase New Zealand export revenue by $200 million a year by 2045.
Zespri General Manager for Innovation Carol Ward says the partnership builds on an incredible track record of value creation with MBIE and Plant & Food Research. This includes the development of the SunGold cultivar which in 2016/17 alone returned an export value of $686 million.
"Zespri is delighted with the government's decision to renew its support for the world's leading kiwifruit breeding programme. Our partnership has an outstanding track record in developing new kiwifruit products that consumers love and that create value for our industry and for the broader economy.
"This extension will apply world-class science with Plant & Food Research to develop new and novel kiwifruit varieties. Through this focus on innovation, we have the potential to generate more value for growers and consumers, while supporting jobs and incomes for families in regional economies."
"Kiwifruit is a major contributor to the national economy, and this investment recognises the value of research in ensuring the industry's future success," says Dr Bruce Campbell, chief operating officer of Plant & Food Research.
"Our partnership with Zespri has supported the industry's substantial growth over the past two decades, as well as seen us successfully navigate unknown territory, including the outbreak of Psa in 2010. This investment will allow us to continue developing new products targeted to our key markets that will enhance New Zealand's reputation for premium food exports."