About Zespri

Our Growers

― Dave and Julie Smith

Zespri Green and Gold kiwifruit

dave_julie

A commitment to growing quality kiwifruit and developing innovative orchard practices attracted Dave and Julie Smith back to the land to tend to a struggling orchard to build a home base for their large family.

Looking though the scaffolding of what will be their new family home in the middle of their Green kiwifruit orchard, Dave and Julie view the result of their efforts over the past few years with pride. After much attention and hard work, this orchard is now a high performing orchard, with a quality crop of kiwifruit nearly due for harvest.

When Dave and Julie first visited this orchard, they described the site as unloved but with limitless potential. They purchased the land and embarked on a journey of investment, hard work and dedication. They shared a strong vision for the orchard and for what will soon be their family home.

Both Dave and Julie have been heavily involved with the kiwifruit industry for over 30 years, and are not ones to shy away from a challenge. When global consumer feedback indicated a demand for better tasting kiwifruit, Dave and Julie worked closely with Zespri to improve the yield and quality of fruit from their orchards year on year.

They invested a lot of time, money and energy in getting the balance of organic matter in the soils right. Julie describes the soil as the key to healthy vines, good sized kiwifruit, greater orchard yields and better tasting fruit packed full of nutrients and vitamins. She describes the hairy brown fruit as a true jewel with a rich green gem inside.

With farming in their blood, Dave and Julie are also working to establish a museum on their orchard with farming equipment and tools that were used by Dave’s late father and grandfather. Their main motivation is to preserve history in this ever-increasing fast paced world and to ensure that future generations can see and understand the effort that was put in farming practices.