About Zespri

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Zespri kiwis available all year round?

We cooperate with growers across the world to be able to provide our customers and consumers with the best quality Zespri Kiwifruit all year round. Zespri Green kiwis are available throughout the year. Zespri SunGold isn’t at present in the market throughout the year. In the summer this delicious little fruit comes from New Zealand, while in the winter it comes from Italy or France.

Is it true that the longer Zespri kiwis hang on the branch, the larger they are?

No, the size of the kiwifruit depends on how it’s grown. There are certain factors that influence the eventual size of the kiwi. For instance, there is a greater chance of a larger kiwi when several fruit buds are cut off and more leaves are cut. This lets in more sun, so the fruit can grow quicker.

What is the difference between ‘normal’ and organic kiwis?

Zespri Organic exists for the green as well as the yellow variety. The properties and nutritional value are the same as that of Zespri® Green and SunGold, but the organic variety distinguishes itself because it is grown 100% organically in certified orchards. The Zespri® Organic kiwi also has a different label to the normal variant. The grower only uses organic and mineral fertilisers that don’t pollute the soil. Parasites and plant diseases are combated using natural means such as compost or algae. Herbicides, insecticides or other synthetic aids do not enter the orchard. Each Zespri® Organic kiwi undergoes strict inspection by BioGro, the main New Zealand control organisation. Upon arrival in Europe there is an extra check by a recognised control body. This is why the term ‘Organic Green’ or ‘Organic SunGold’ on the stickers is a guarantee for the very best kiwis, grown with 100% organic techniques.

Is it possible to get a tour of the Zespri Kiwifruit warehouses?

To be able to guarantee optimum quality of our products, it is unfortunately impossible to organise a tour of our warehouses. Machines require protection because of safety regulations, and because it concerns food, strict hygiene regulations apply.

Would Zespri Kiwifruit sponsor us?

We receive a large number of sponsoring requests every week for promotional material, free kiwis or a financial contribution. At the beginning of every year we make a selection of which organisations, initiatives or events we will support and they have already received confirmation. We don’t sponsor financially, but only with our promotional material or possibly with kiwifruit.

Why are Zespri kiwis so healthy?

Kiwis are a major source of vitamins and you can find out why, here! 

How can I find information about Zespri for a talk or a paper?

You can find a whole range of information on the history of Zespri Kiwifruit, the Zespri organisation and Zespri kiwis on our website. In addition, you can find out many more fun kiwi facts. For more detailed information on kiwifruit and health please click here.

Where in New Zealand are the Zespri kiwis grown?

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Are Zespri kiwis also grown outside New Zealand?

Zespri Kiwifruit doesn’t only come from New Zealand. Zespri cooperates with growers from across the world to provide our customers and consumers with the best quality Zespri® Kiwifruit when New Zealand Zespri Kiwis aren’t available.

Zespri has given growers in Italy, France, South Korea, China, Japan and Australia the authority to grow our exclusive Zespri SunGold kiwifruit. Zespri also has exclusive agreements with Green kiwi growers who grow high quality kiwis according to the highest Zespri Kiwifruit standards.

How many kiwi orchards are there in New Zealand?

There are 3,293 orchards that provide Zespri Kiwifruit with kiwis, which are owned by 2,615 growers.

How do Zespri kiwis end up in the shops?

Our kiwis are primarily grown in New Zealand. The cultivation cycle of the kiwis can be found here.

These kiwis then undergo a quality check in the warehouses in New Zealand after which they are shipped to, among others, Europe. The refrigerated freighters from New Zealand are under way for four weeks before they arrive in Zeebrugge, Vado or Tarragona. The amount of time before the kiwis end up in the shop depends on the period of the year, customer demand and firmness of the kiwis.

In Zeebrugge, Vado of Tarragona the kiwis are again assessed with regard to quality and stored in a refrigerated area (0°C for Green, 1°C for SunGold and 1.5°C for Gold). Here they can be repackaged, depending on the customer’s wishes. These warehouses have facilities that are only used for kiwis and are adapted to this.

The kiwis are eventually transported to wholesalers and retailers using refrigerated trucks. This transport is arranged by the customers themselves.

What is Zespri Kiwifruit’s position on genetic modification?

Zespri Kiwifruit doesn’t fund research into genetically modified kiwifruit. Furthermore, it doesn’t have any genetically modified kiwifruit in its portfolio. Zespri Kiwifruit regards research and development as a major aspect of the future success of the New Zeeland Kiwifruit Industry. This strong focus on innovation does not mean that we choose to develop genetically modified kiwis.

Kiwis are bought and consumed because they are healthy and delicious fruit. The image of New Zealand as a ‘clean, green’ and therefore ‘safe’ country, is regarded as an advantage for the sale of kiwifruit, especially in Europe and Japan. Zespri Kiwifruit’s starting point is that consumers will not or barely accept the technology of genetic modification in the future.

What are the guidelines Zespri employs when growing kiwis?

At Zespri Kiwifruit we always work according to Zespri's system, a control process that is employed in each stage, not only in development but also when harvesting and during transport. All growers who cultivate our kiwifruit have to meet the strict regulations of the Zespri System to be able to guarantee that the kiwis are of an optimum quality.

This system includes, among others, the following aspects:

Careful selection of the best orchards with the most ideal climate and soil conditions.

On the basis of a unique monitoring system, we try to limit the use of chemical herbicides – against vermin, weeds, disease and fungi – to the bare minimum.

Thanks to this system, 80% of our kiwis are grown pesticide-free.

An external laboratory surveys when the fruit needs to be harvested: it’s very important that all fruit is picked at the same moment in the ripening process to get a consistent product, with the same taste and optimum storage life. To assure this, strict norms apply to picking.

Read more about the Zespri Kiwifruit quality system here.

Are the organic types healthier than traditional kiwis?

The nutritional properties of organic and traditional varieties are the same. The differences concern how they are developed. Both types therefore contain the same nutritional properties.

Can I use Zespri Kiwifruit skin in my compost?

Kiwifruit is a great source of nitrogen for your compost! Make sure to bury the within compost pile. Additionally, the Zespri Kiwifruit sticker is biodegradable so you don’t have to worry about taking it off.

I’m looking for information about the various types of kiwis, but I can’t find it.

Product information about our kiwis can be found on our site. If you still have any questions then contact us!