Field Notes, powered by KPMG, is a weekly news update on news nationally and globally from the agri-food sector.
The gold kiwifruit variety has been illegally planted in China which has led to Zespri International preparing to take a civil case in order to stop them continuing. Zespri has reported that the illegal plantings could be up to 2500 hectares, which has increased significantly on the estimates 100 hectares two years ago. New Zealand has plantings of SunGold of 6500 in the country and 1100 hectares licensed overseas. SunGold revenue makes nearly half of Zespri’s total $2.94 billion and although the plantings in China had not affected their market share as of yet, the company reported that they want to protect their intellectual property. Over $500 million of Zespri’s revenue is earned from China’s purchases of kiwifruit a year and the country is the company’s biggest market. The planting rights to SunGold are licensed to Zespri for at least the next 18 years which means that only growers that the co-operative licenses to use it can plant it. Zespri Chief Grower and Alliances Officer Dave Courtney has reported that the company is ‘’monitoring orchards and supply channels to understand the scale of the issue’’ and to gather evidence for legal proceeding going forward.
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