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Non-Zespri kiwifruit will soon be available in Thailand and Hong Kong supermarkets for the first time, according to RuralNews.

In a breakthrough marketing agreement, Gisborne-based fruit producer, First Fresh, will consumer-trial an early variety gold kiwifruit – First Gold.

The move has the blessings of industry regulator Kiwifruit New Zealand (KNZ) and is the first time a new gold kiwifruit variety has been approved for export under its own brand.

Zespri, which also supports the First Fresh move, says First Gold will occupy retail space not currently filled by New Zealand-grown kiwifruit.

Under the collaborative marketing arrangements, provided for under Regulation 28 of the Kiwifruit Export Regulations 1999, only Zespri is allowed to market New Zealand kiwifruit to countries other than Australia.

This agreement is also poignant because of the ongoing legal bid by Turners and Growers to overcome Zespri’s global marketing right.

Zespri chief executive Lain Jager says the trial will help the industry understand the interaction between First Gold and Zespri Gold.

“It is critical we open the season with a strong product that delivers a positive eating experience because this will help support the growth of the category in the markets.

“Conversely if the product disappoints early then that will obviously have implications for the broader positioning of the Gold category.

“First Fresh are experienced fruit marketers who are genuinely committed to the quality positioning of New Zealand kiwifruit and this has supported genuine collaboration and mutual agreement to a careful and considered step-by-step approach to market testing and commercialisation of the variety,” says Jager.

First Fresh managing director Ian Albers says it is excited about taking a new variety of gold kiwifruit into the consumer market.

“This collaborative approach to product testing and market development ensures that New Zealand-grown fruit taken into overseas markets is positioned strongly and that the benefits flow back to growers here,” he says.

Source: Rural News.co.nz

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