About Zespri


― The constant search for new Zespri kiwifruit

Innovation is central to everything we do:

  • In our cultivation process and orchard management
  • In storage, distribution, marketing and sales
  • In our approach to quality and sustainability
  • In our plant breeding programme

We are constantly looking for new types of kiwifruit, so that you can enjoy kiwifruit in even more varied ways. The Zespri new variety breeding program, managed in partnership with Plant & Food Research New Zealand, is the largest and most advanced kiwifruit breeding and evaluation programme in the world involving no fewer than 70,000 kiwifruit varieties. The programme is focused on delivering the next generation of Zespri kiwifruit with strong alignment to consumer preferences to both improve and extend the Zespri product range.

Zespri uses only natural plant breeding techniques and does not support the use of genetic engineering in plant breeding

Using a 100% natural process of cultivation, selection and cross-fertilisation, Zespri looks for promising seedlings which are then further cultivated by means of cuttings. If these meet the expectations, they are grown in small numbers and tested on the market.

A natural plant-breeding process of this kind only yields results after six to ten years. During this period, the kiwifruit varieties are constantly assessed and tested, by both growers and consumers.

Only in this way we are sure that the new variety meets all the requirements to enable it to be marketed and those are many and varied:

  • Exceptional taste
  • Nice shape and size
  • Tasty-looking flesh
  • High nutritional value
  • Good keeping properties

What is more, the bushes must also produce enough fruit to make the new crop economically cost-effective for the kiwifruit farmers.


― Zespri SunGold: A success story

Zespri SunGold is positive proof that our plant-breeding programme works

The golden-yellow kiwifruit is enjoyed all over the world and has carved out an established place for itself in the fruit range. The success of the Zespri SunGold kiwifruit inspired us to further extend the range. Up until recently the yellow kiwifruit was only available for a limited period (20 weeks a year). Zespri wanted to extend this availability with new varieties, and has managed to do just that. After 10 years of research and development, including consumer tests in New Zealand, Japan and Germany, Zespri has selected two new yellow kiwifruits for commercial tests: the Zespri Gold 3 and Zespri Gold 9. The shape and taste are almost identical, but thanks to the newcomers golden kiwifruit might soon be enjoyed virtually all year round.