Zespri signs on with Chinese state-owned firm to buy illicit SunGold kiwifruit Zespri与一家中国国有公司签约购买非法的老猕猴桃
Zespri is closer to launching a 'Made in China' kiwifruit.Zespri更接近推出“中国制造”猕猴桃。
Kiwifruit giant Zespri has signed the beginnings of a commercial deal with a state-owned Chinese firm, in hope of buying counterfeit golden kiwifruit grown on vines stolen from the company.
The bid to buy into an estimated 4000ha of unlicensed SunGold kiwifruit in China is yet to be signed off by Zespri’s regulator.
▲Yellow kiwi orchard
But, with China’s growing season on the horizon and the volume of counterfeit fruit expected to grow, there is pressure to ink a deal that could help save Zespri’s sizeable stake in the Chinese market.
▲New Zealand zespri Kiwifruit packaging
The company has in recent weeks signed a “memorandum of intent” with a Sichuan-based company, signalling a willingness to provide technology and advice to Chinese growers of kiwifruit vines that were stolen from Zespri.
▲New Zealand zespri redKiwifruit packaging
Zespri’s SunGold golden kiwifruit is a popular variety in both New Zealand and China.Zespri的金色猕猴桃在新西兰和中国都很受欢迎。
▲golden kiwi tree
A statement about the trial, published on an industry website in November, said the three-year co-operation project between Zespri and Sichuan State-owned Assets Operation and Investment Management would begin next year.
The statement said the project, if successful, could expand to the production of 50,000 tons of SunGold within five years.声明说，该项目如果成功，可以在五年内扩大到5万吨G3的生产。
“We hope that with our world-leading management technology and best practices, we can help Chinese growers improve their growing techniques and increase their income,” Zespri chief executive Daniel Mathieson was quoted as saying.
▲Rubyred kiwi orchard
Mathieson was unavailable for an interview on Friday.马蒂森周五无法接受采访。
A statement provided by Zespri, attributed to the company’s China strategic projects lead Matt Crawford, said the growing of unauthorised SunGold was an “immense challenge”.
▲sungold g3 kiwifruit vine
Crawford said the memorandum of intent was a “symbol” of the company’s willingness to run the trial, which would begin with Zespri buying 650 tonnes of fruit from Chinese growers in its first year.
Daniel Mathieson, chief executive of Zespri.丹尼尔·马蒂森，Zespri首席执行官。
Zespri would then brand the fruit and sell it to Chinese consumers. The company is working with a supportive Chinese government, Crawford said, and continues to pursue some growers through the Chinese courts and enforce its plant variety rights.
▲zespri sungold g3 kiwi
It had not decided whether it would try to licence the growers in China, as it does with New Zealand growers.它还没有决定是否会像对待新西兰种植者那样，向中国的种植者发放许可证。
▲Kiwifruit packing box
“The consistent advice we’ve received is that the best way to managing the unauthorised SunGold kiwifruit issue is to find a win-win solution, and we see this as a real commercial opportunity.”“我们收到的一致建议是，管理未经授权的SunGold猕猴桃问题的最佳方法是找到双赢的解决方案，我们认为这是一个真正的商业机会。”
Zespri, at its annual general meeting in August, said there was now an estimated 4,000ha of SunGold being illegally grown in China.Zespri在8月份的年度股东大会上表示，目前中国非法种植的SunGold估计有4000公顷。
▲zespri kiwifruit Import and export
Some 4000ha of unlicensed SunGold kiwifruit is being grown in China, after the variety was stolen from Zespri. It’s broadly expected the illicit planting of SunGold will only expand.
▲sungold g3 kiwifruit vine
At $161,660 in returns per hectare, this could amount to more than $645 million worth of counterfeit fruit that would come onto the Chinese market in August – competing with late-season New Zealand fruit.
Crawford said the company had kept the industry fully informed, and hoped to progress the deal “as soon as possible while following the appropriate processes”.
▲gold g3 kiwi
Zespri has a “single desk” monopoly, meaning all Kiwifruit growers must sell their fruit to the company for marketing and export.
Because of this market dominance, Zespri’s operations are regulated by Kiwifruit New Zealand and the Kiwifruit Export Regulations. The law says Zespri is legally confined to marketing and developing the market for New Zealand-grown fruit.
Kiwifruit New Zealand chief executive Geoff Morgan said the proposed arrangement with Chinese growers was outside Zespri’s “core business” and required sign-off from KNZ.
The company provided a “prior notice” of its plans for the Chinese-grown fruit in late-October.该公司在10月下旬提供了一份“事先通知”，说明其在中国种植水果的计划。
“What we've been saying to Zespri is, if you are going to enter into arrangements with people, you need to make clear to them it's subject to regulatory approval in New Zealand.”
Morgan said Kiwifruit New Zealand, as per the law, would decide whether the project supports Zespri’s core business and is low-risk to growers. A draft decision is expected in late-January.
“Obviously there's pressure there for us to make a decision quickly, but it's obviously a hugely important decision for the whole industry, so we want to make sure we're doing it appropriately,” Morgan said.
“They would like it sooner, it's fair to say, but we have to go through the process. We have to do it properly.”
If the proposal is rejected, Zespri would then have to take a vote to the industry’s 2792 growers, and get the support of 75 percent of them to proceed.
“Zespri have always said that they will keep growers informed of what's going on, but they haven't made the prior notice public at this point,” Morgan said.
A spokeswoman for Ministry of Primary Industries said, in a statement, that both the ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials were at the signing of the memorandum of intent, at Zespri's invitation.
▲zespri rubyred kiwifruit
The Government was not involved in Zespri's discussions with Chinese companies about the proposed trial, which was a private, commercial matter.
▲zespri yellow kiwi
Chinese growers began illicit plantings of Zespri’s SunGold variety, also called G3, possibly as early as 2013.
▲zespri yellow kiwi