Most Zespri kiwifruit comes from New Zealand. 2,700 kiwi farmers there harvest around 3.7 billion kiwis per year. The fruit is sold in 55 countries.
New Zealand’s kiwi plantations are mainly found in the Bay of Plenty (North Island), where the climate is ideal for delicious, wholesome kiwifruit to be grown and to thrive. There’s a lot of sun and enough rainfall, it’s pleasantly cool in the winter, and there’s no risk of frost in spring. What’s more, the soil in the region is volcanic and therefore fertile.
Zespri kiwis are grown in Europe, too. There are Zespri kiwi farmers in Italy (mainly in Emilia-Romagna and Latium) and in the far south of France (Corsica and Aquitaine), where it also nice and warm and the winters are mild. Zespri kiwis are also produced in Australia, Japan, South Korea and Chile.
And are there other producers, too?
Indeed there are. Kiwis are also grown in countries such as China, Greece, the United States and Spain. By the way, did you know that China, the country where the first kiwi seeds came from, is today the largest producer of kiwifruit? The kiwis grown in Asia and the United States are not exported to Europe.
Top 10 kiwi-producing countries worldwide (number of tons/year)*
- China 466,667
- Italy 442,384
- New Zealand 370,000
- Chile 173,333
- Greece 81,467
- France 71,275
- Japan 32,867
- Iran 30,000
- United States 20,988
- Korea 15,167
* source: World Kiwifruit Review, 2010 Edition