Kiwifruit Trade History

The Kiwifruit Trade History is colourful and  a popular topic. I will NOT regurgitate here what has already been written elsewhere about the topic. And - I will be happily providing you with links to the quality contributions I have identified in my research.  

What I will do though, is to comment on kiwifruit and their trade history from a Meta perspective...

Kiwifruit, Actinidia chinenis, started its life in China.  When the fruit first arrived in New Zealand, the country which is responsible for today's name, the hairy fruit was initially known as Chinese gooseberry.  The then principals of Turners & Growers, at the time New Zealand's premier fresh produce trading company, decided that a more appealing name was required and that is how Kiwifruit got their name. Some of the detail is available here and here.

Kiwifruit has been a horticultural success story for New Zealand and the combination of a single desk market structure, the effectiveness of Zespri as a marketer and the commercialisation of Gold Kiwifruit were underpinning features of New Zealand's fruit trade for many years.

Having established a successful green kiwifruit trade, New Zealand's nurserymen who had perfected vine selection and propagation techniques then merrily started to supply kiwifruit vines to the rest of the world - without paying detailed attention to plant variety rights opportunities. As a consequence, kiwifruit industries developed in France, Spain, Italy, Greece and California and Zespri is actively cooperating with growers in several countries to ensure a year round supply of kiwifruit to its customers.

In recent years, the global Kiwifruit industry has been severely impacted by PSA, a bacterial kiwifruit vine disease with catasthrophic consequences for infected orchards.

The New Zealand kiwifruit industry has responded with determination to get control of the disease. A separate agency, Kiwifruit Vine Health Inc., has been established to coordinate the industry's response.

At the same time, research efforst have been increased to find and commercialise new PSA resistant Kiwifruit varieties. The last chapter of Kiwifruit Trade History has therefore not yet been written!

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