Zespri and T&G today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) confirming their intention to work together to create value for their respective growers and shareholders. Zespri Chairman Peter McBride and T&G Global Chairman Professor Klaus Josef Lutz signed the MOU early this morning NZ time at the fruit industry trade show Fruit Logistica in Berlin.
Professor Lutz explains that, as two large New Zealand horticultural exporters with strong global brands, Zespri and T&G have committed to develop market opportunities together to grow export sales.
“This is a positive collaboration between two large New Zealand exporters,” says Professor Lutz.
Mr McBride says both companies are major contributors to the New Zealand economy and offer premium branded products supported by innovative marketing.
“This MOU formalises our intentions to look for opportunities to use our respective strengths to grow sales,” says Mr McBride.
The first step in this collaboration can be seen with regulatory approval of a new initiative: the two companies will work together to sell around 1 million trays of Zespri Kiwifruit in Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos in the 2016 season.
“This proactive collaborative marketing partnership will accelerate the growth in kiwifruit sales across a region with huge potential. T&G will develop sales programmes for Zespri Green, Zespri SunGold and T&G products in these four Southeast Asian countries, leveraging the strength of the Zespri brand and marketing strategy with T&G’s existing business expertise, distribution channels and strong product offering,” says Mr McBride.
Professor Lutz says T&G will open an office in Bangkok to represent and support the two companies’ sales programmes. The new team will work together to grow sales of both Zespri and T&G branded products like JAZZTM and ENVYTM apples in the region, with a regional manager already appointed and key account managers appointments to follow.
This collaborative arrangement is the first of its kind to be approved by regulator Kiwifruit NZ (KNZ) and learnings from this programme will be used to inform future collaborative programmes. Under the Kiwifruit Regulations, Zespri is the primary exporter of NZ-grown kiwifruit beyond Australia. However other exporters can apply to KNZ with proposals to export NZ-grown kiwifruit in collaboration with Zespri.
Mr McBride explains the recent Kiwifruit Industry Strategy Project (KISP) consultation with growers heralded a change in direction for Zespri and collaborative marketing. “This has opened the way for Zespri to partner with companies which can offer strong coverage in new or developing regions for Zespri and increase returns to our growers.”