Monday 15 August 2016 03:41 PM
Zespri to resume China shipments
By Edwin Mitson
Aug. 15 (BusinessDesk) - Zespri International, the kiwifruit marketer, is due to resume shipments to China later this
week following an overhaul of the process for checking kiwifruit prior to export.
On Aug. 5, the Tauranga-based company said it had temporarily halted exports to the country after China's General
Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) issued a risk notification and strengthened
inspection and quarantine processes on New Zealand kiwifruit entering Chinese ports when it found the fungus Neofabraea
actinidiae. It causes fruit to rot but has no food safety implications.
Prime Minister John Key last week insisted that there was no link between Zespri's problems and reports that China had
threatened to retaliate if New Zealand launched an investigation into whether Beijing was selling steel to NZ below
cost, a practice known as 'dumping'. Key told his weekly media conference that "people should be careful about joining
In a statement, Zespri said its revised processes "have been approved by MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries) which is
notifying the Chinese authorities." Two more shipments of kiwifruit that have arrived in China have been identified as
containing the fungus and the company says there may be more as the produce was dispatched before the new checking
procedures were put in place. The fungus has affected around 2 percent of the fruit that has arrived in China to date.
The issue has led to around 1 million trays of kiwifruit being rerouted to different markets, meaning Zespri will now
sell an extra 7 million trays to China this year, rather than the 8 million expected. Zespri had been anticipating that
China would become its largest market by sales this year, reaching about $500 million.