Among the EnzaGold growers who would like fruit to reach international markets is Lee Hoggard of Te Puke.
“Currently in Enza Gold we appear to have a kiwifruit which is more resistant to Psa-V than Hort16a but can’t sell it internationally. Zespri is facing a reduction in its gold volumes due to the disease, so the way I see it, each company has something the other one wants. It would be ideal if they could work together,” says Lee.
Relations between Zespri and Turners & Growers thawing
They were once bitter rivals, facing each other in court, but now there’s been a thawing between kiwifruit exporter and marketer Zespri and Turners & Growers, New Zealand’s largest distributor, marketer and exporter of fresh produce.
Both Zespri CEO Lain Jager and Turner’s and Growers new CEO Geoff Hipkins have acknowledged the improvement in relations since the German company Bay WaAktiengesellschaft purchased T&G earlier this year.
Geoff told the HortNZ conference in Auckland last week that while T&G did not agree with Zespri’s single desk marketing status, it saw little point in perusing litigation to challenge it.
Instead T&G was working co-operatively with Zespri in international markets and the relationship was now a good one, he said.
Lain says there has been an improvement in co-operation between the two fruit marketers since the change of ownership.
“With new owners, a new chairman and new CEO we are seeing a re-organisation of T&G’s kiwifruit business. It has always been Zespri’s aim to have a collaborative, sensible relationship with T&G.”
Lain says Kiwifruit New Zealand has approved a collaborative marketing trial of T&G’s kiwifruit called EnzaGold into Korea and China and this has the support of Zespri.
Zespri was also giving T&G some assistance with kiwifruit marketing in other parts of the world.
That is far from the case under former T&G chairman Tony Gibbs, when the company took court action against Zespri on several occasions and publically stated it wanted Zespri’s single point of entry marketing status changed.
Under Government regulation, Zespri is the only company which can export New Zealand kiwifruit to anywhere in the world other than Australia.
T&G has a kiwifruit variety called EnzaGold, which it wanted to export under its own right.
Growers of EnzaGold in the Bay of Plenty say the variety appears to be standing up to the disease Psa-V better than Hort16A and believe it offers an alternative to Zespri’s own new variety Gold3. However, apart from the collaborative agreement to send fruit to China and Korea, the only market currently open to EnzaGold growers is Australia.