The New Zealand kiwifruit grower has been found who allegedly distributed Zespri’s SunGold and Gold9 varieties to Chinese growers in breach of the company’s plant variety rights. Action had been taken against the Zespri grower and shareholder, Zespri chief operating officer Simon Limmer said at the company’s annual meeting in Tauranga…Full Article: Aug 2017

Key Point

  • According to the Zespri’s Chief Operating Officer, the illegal planting of Zespri’s SunGold and Gold9 varieties occurred in four different Chinese provinces.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In April 2017, New Zealand’s Zespri noted that the illegal transfer of [Psa-resistant] Gold3 and Gold9 kiwifruit in China occurred on a “relatively small scale”.
  • From 2012 to 2016, China’s (including Hong Kong and Macau) kiwifruit imports more than doubled, from 72,620 MTs to 153,009 MTs. The bulk of this import growth occurred over a two-year period, when imports saw a year-on-year increase of approximately 30,000 MTs in 2015 and 44,000 MTs in 2016. The large uptick in 2016 was due in part to China’s Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with New Zealand and Chile.
  • In September 2016, FruitDay (Shanghai e-commerce platform) became a retailer of New Zealand’s Zespri kiwifruit.
  • In April 2016, New Zealand’s kiwifruit producer, Zespri, has reached an agreement with the provincial government of Shaanxi to promote research and scientific collaboration. Zespri also plans to open offices in Chengdu and Chongqing in order to market its kiwifruit in western China. In addition, Zespri announced it would expand its China-based staff from 25 to 90 over the next three years and would look to partner with local producers to cultivate kiwifruit in China.
  • From 2015 to 2016, Shaanxi’s kiwifruit production increased from 1.23 million MTs to 1.31 million MTs. The bulk of Shaanxi’s kiwifruit orchards are primarily situated in the southern counties of Mei (Meixian), Zhouzhi, and Wugong.
  • From 2013 to 2015, China’s kiwifruit production increased from 1.2 million MTs to 1.78 million MTs.
  • In February 2013, New Zealand confirmed that the 2010 Psa outbreak originated from China.
  • In November 2012, approximately 68% (only 26% in 2011) of the country’s kiwifruit orchards were adversely affected by the disease.
  • In November 2010, New Zealand’s North Island kiwifruit orchards began suffering from Psa (bacterial kiwifruit vine disease) outbreaks. In 2010, Zespri commercialized is Gold3 (SunGold) kiwifruit variety, which was more resistant Psa. Gold9 was also released but suffered in the market due to its “shriveled skin” appearance.
  • In May 2006, SkyPeople Fruit Juice began producing kiwifruit after it acquired 50.2% of of Xi’an Jiaoda Qinmei Modern Agriculture. SkyPeople Fruit Juice’s ‘Qinmei’ kiwifruit orchards in Zhouzhi County, Shaanxi Province, were China’s largest kiwifruit production area.
  • Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, SkyPeople Fruit Juice is located in one of China’s primary fruit-growing regions and is particularly well known for kiwifruit. In 2010, SkyPeople Fruit Juice transferred from NYSE Amex (NYSE MKT) to NASDAQ.
  • In 1997, New Zealand Kiwifruit Marketing Board established the Zespri brand (headquartered in Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty, North Island).

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