The 2degrees Best Growth Strategy award presented to Zespri at the 2017 Deloitte Top 200 Awards on Thursday night is welcomed recognition, says the kiwifruit marketer chief executive Dan Mathieson.
Zespri was recognised for its strong growth strategy, with the kiwifruit marketing company on track to more than double global sales to $4.5 billion by 2025.
“This award is real testament to the great team we have at Zespri – passionate, dedicated people around the world who bring to life our global grower-to-consumer strategy day in and day out – and the long-term partnerships we have with our customers,” says Dan.
“Kiwifruit is big business in New Zealand but it only makes up 1.5 percent of the globally-traded fruitbowl so we see huge potential to grow the overall category.
“How are we going to double sales in seven years?" He says, "We'll continue to grow market demand for our products by building our premium Zespri brand and kiwifruit products to best meet the needs of our growing consumer base with a relentless commitment to quality, taste and safety.”
The award is welcome recognition for the work done across the industry to grow a genuine global sales and marketing organisation and drive demand for Zespri's premium kiwifruit, says Dan.
The kiwifruit industry invests around $35 million a year in innovation with more than half of this invested in Zespri's joint new varieties breeding programme with Plant & Food Research, developing new products to attract new consumers and grow the overall category.
“Ours is a collaborative industry and to hit this ambitious target, we're working with growers, postharvest and our other supply chain partners to invest and build capability and capacity to achieve the significant opportunity that lies ahead of us,” says Dan.
A recent report from the University of Waikato shows the NZ kiwifruit industry on track to create another 29,000 jobs and triple GDP contribution to over $6 billion by 2030, due largely to Zespri's gold variety SunGold.
“Doubling sales in the next seven years will mean over $3 billion returned to communities around New Zealand – our export returns were $1.6 billion to New Zealand last season and this will double by 2025. This is a vital contributor to communities in kiwifruit growing regions across New Zealand,” says Dan.
Based in Mount Maunganui, Zespri is 100 percent owned by current or past kiwifruit growers, and employs approximately 450 people in New Zealand, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Zespri manages kiwifruit innovation and supply management, distribution management and marketing of Zespri Green, Zespri SunGold, Zespri Organic, Zespri Gold and Zespri Sweet Green Kiwifruit, on behalf of 2,500 growers in New Zealand and 1,200 growers based elsewhere.