― We are committed to growing a better, healthier future
"Sustainability is a passion—it’s about leaving our property in better condition for the future generations, including our children and grandchildren"
— Graham Dyer, Zespri Kiwifruit grower BayPark Orchard, Tauranga, New Zealand.
Sustainability is something we have to work on all the time. Together with leading research institutions and partners, we seek ways of reducing our environmental impact at all levels. Every year we invest in research and development, and studies of environmentally friendly production methods constitute a major part of that research.
To illustrate our efforts, we can cite a couple of striking studies and initiatives on sustainability:
SOIL AND WATER MANAGEMENT
The deep roots of kiwifruit vines are effective in seeking out water, and there is relatively little need for irrigation in the industry. All the water used in the New Zealand kiwifruit industry is from naturally-replenished sources, including rainfall and underground aquifers.
We supported research in 2016 to optimise ‘nutrient use efficiency’ in kiwifruit. This is a measure of how well plants use the mineral nutrients available in soil and water and is essential for sustainable agricultural production.
Another important area of environmental research Zespri is supporting is into minimising agrichemical use and finding alternatives for controlling pests and diseases.
Zespri has high quality food safety systems in place across the industry to ensure that it meets all market requirements. This includes Global Gap, Kiwi Green and 100% residue testing.
WASTE MANAGEMENT AND REDUCTION
Reducing fruit waste is an integral aspect of Zespri Kiwifruit’s production system – for both environmental and cost reasons. Its industry has invested in information systems to improve inventory management, introduced lean manufacturing concepts, and improved fruit temperature monitoring – all helping to cut down on the amount of fruit that is wasted. Our fruit loss rates are typically less than four percent.
The packaging used by Zespri is 100% recyclable and printed using water-based ink. In 2013, Zespri launched the first fresh produce compostable fruit label for use on the organic kiwifruit category (degradable paper or polylactic acid = a material based on sugars of vegetable origin).
Zespri Kiwifruit has been involved in a pioneering study, in collaboration with the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries, to create a comprehensive carbon footprint across our supply chain, from orchard to consumer. The findings will help in prioritising emission reduction initiatives. Zespri’s supply chain uses highly efficient direct shipping. Specialised reefer vessels are around 27 percent more energy efficient than container shipping.
If you would like to find out more about our sustainability initiatives, you can download our brochure "Growing a better, healthier future" which gives a detailed description of all our initiatives.