Italian kiwifruit in New Zealand?

Kiwifruit sold in New Zealand may come from Italy. I was a bit surprised when I found these in the supermarkets.

A kiwifruit from Italy.

Indeed, New Zealand is known as a key international actor for the kiwifruit industry. With fertile soil and moist climate, the northern region of Bay of Plenty is a favorable place for kiwifruit production and conveniently situated close to the port of Tauranga, the largest in the country. In terms of volume, New Zealand is the third largest kiwifruit producer in the world, after China and Italy, with more than 400’000 tonnes produced in 2014 (FAO).

Finding overseas kiwifruit in a country like New Zealand might be surprising, but that curiosity can be explained by the obviously different harvesting times between the two hemispheres (kiwifruits are harvested in autumn, i.e. April / May in New Zealand) and the priority given to export by Zespri, the New Zealand exporting board. Approximatively a quarter of kiwifruit consumed in New Zealand comes from abroad. Annual export values reached 1.7 billion NZD for the June 2016 year, continuing an increasing trend.

While European and other foreign markets are fond of New Zealand kiwifruits, the other way around is also true. Currently, the three top export destinations are the European Union, Japan and… China, also the first kiwifruit producer. Food globalization at its finest!

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