Zespri Kiwifruit vines

Zespri delays start of European Sales Season by a week

Media Statement

22 Apr 2024

Zespri has delayed the start of its European sales season by a week following the discovery of pests in the fruit holds of its first charter vessel into Zeebrugge.

During Zespri’s standard clearance processes, evidence of mouse activity was identified in some parts of the ship.

Zespri Chief Operating Officer Jason Te Brake says Zespri takes fruit quality incredibly seriously and has made the decision to quarantine the fruit while those inspections continue. This will ensure all affected fruit is identified and destroyed. No fruit will be released unless both Zespri and relevant regulators are confident of mitigation measures.

“We have a proven track record over 20 years of providing only the highest quality fruit and building a brand people trust and we won’t compromise on that. This is the first time in more than 20 years that we have encountered this issue, and we have had a number of successful arrivals in other markets already this season. We are working with our shipping partner and insurers to understand the cause and to put additional processes in place to avoid this occurring again.”

Mr Te Brake says after a strong start in Asia, Zespri’s season start in Europe will now be pushed back a week, with a second charter vessel due to arrive in Zeebrugge on Saturday. That fruit will undergo an inspection process before being released to customers.

“We’re now working with our customers and our distribution partners to ensure we can commence the European sales season as quickly as possible to meet strong consumer demand,” Mr Te Brake says.