About Zespri


― We are committed to supporting employment and backing worker welfare

For this reason, we only source product from suppliers who operate socially responsible businesses.   

All our suppliers must be able to demonstrate their commitment to ethical trading norms, their compliance with legal employment requirements and their respect of core labour rights and dignity at work

The New Zealand kiwifruit industry employs around 10,000 people permanently and another 8,000 seasonal workers at the peak of harvest. Over a thousand people come to New Zealand each year under the ‘Recognised Seasonal Employer’ (RSE) scheme to work in kiwifruit orchards and packhouses. This scheme was set up by the New Zealand government to meet labour shortages.

The kiwifruit growers’ organisation, New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated, is committed to promoting the highest standards of compliance in the industry. This is done through an ongoing programme of grower communication and education on labour standards, supported by a dedicated employment development manager.

One of the ways in which we aim to support a sustainable kiwifruit industry is through its community investment work. In New Zealand, it is investing to support strong and healthy local communities, to develop a skilled and innovative industry and to promote a sustainable environment.

In addition, investing in education is an important focus for Zespri, particularly where it relates to encouraging young people into our industry. One longstanding commitment is our support for the Kellogg Rural Leadership Development Programme, which provides six-month courses of experiential learning, strategic insight and personal development for emerging leaders in New Zealand’s primary industries.

During the financial year ending 31 March 2016, Zespri Kiwifruit undertook the following steps to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any of its supply chains:

  • Developed and launched a pilot contractor compliance programme for the 2016 season to provide an enhanced level of monitoring to ensure on-orchard labour complies with New Zealand law and relevant international. This programme will gradually be rolled out across the industry and included into the existing Global G.A.P. contractor audit programme.
  • Developed and implemented a distributor code of conduct for  direct sale markets which includes requirements for Zespri Kiwifruit distributors to:
  1.   Comply with all applicable laws.
  2.   Provide a workplace free from discrimination, harassment or any other  form    of abuse.
  3.  Treat employees fairly, including with respect to wages, working hours and  benefits.
  4.  Prohibit all forms of forced or compulsory labour.
  5.  Prohibit the use of child labour and provide safe and healthy working  conditions.
  • Commenced revision of its social responsibility policy to incorporate labour issues and fair treatment of workers.
  • Supported New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers lncorporated on the launch of an "ID card" to provide proof of legal entitlement to work for non-NZ workers in viticulture and horticulture along with the broader industry and labour experts.
  • Commenced incorporation of the GlobaiG.P. labour issues add-on (GRASP) into the Zespri audit and monitoring processes.
  • Endorsed the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme which alleviates labour shortages in the horticultural industries, which directly supports community development across the Pacific by providing seasonal employment as well as pastoral care and support.

Click here to see the signed Zespri statement



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