Zespri orchard

Zespri and the kiwifruit industry set to benefit from May start of NZ-EU FTA

Media Release

26 Mar 2024

The fast-tracked implementation of New Zealand’s Free Trade Agreement with the European Union is a significant boost for Zespri and the kiwifruit industry.

The NZ-EU FTA Legislation Bill received Royal Assent yesterday, completing the process for New Zealand’s ratification of the agreement with it to come into force earlier than expected on 1 May 2024.

The deal will see the immediate removal of the 8.8 percent tariff on New Zealand kiwifruit exports from then. 

Zespri CEO Dan Mathieson says the removal of the tariff will support efforts to grow exports to Europe, supplying consumers with more of the world’s best kiwifruit and returning more value back to growers and partners.

Around 90 percent of Zespri’s exports to Europe this season arrive after 1 May, though the removal of the tariff has been factored into the start of the season.

Mr Mathieson says, “It delivers tariff relief at a time when the industry is resetting after a very challenging period and consumers are also facing rising living costs. In the last two seasons growers have dealt with a significant labour shortage and resulting quality challenges which coupled with poor growing conditions and rapidly rising costs has put many under real pressure.”  

“This year the industry is poised to rebound strongly with more volume and a quality reset which has us ready to deliver a strong season in market where demand continues to grow off the back of our ongoing investment. 
“We’re incredibly grateful for the efforts of all those who helped to make this agreement happen and who helped get it into place so quickly including Trade Minister Todd McClay and former Trade Minister Damien O’Connor.
“We’re looking forward to delivering the world’s best kiwifruit to more consumers and creating ongoing value for our industry and our partners and communities in Europe and New Zealand.”