Zespri, the New Zealand kiwi fruit marketer finished its first financial year as a grower-shareholder owned company in "reasonable shape", according to executive chairman, Doug Voss, with an after tax net profit of US$ 1.3m.
"It was a testing year, but the potential to achieve sustainable growth is within our reach given the platform established in the year under review," Voss said in the Annual Report. "We entered a new era as a marketer of multiple kiwifruit products and secured our first agreements with growers in Italy, the U.S. and Japan to produce Zespri Gold Kiwifruit for Zespri to exclusively market in future years."
"We successfully launched Zespri Gold as a premium fruit, sold 8 per cent more of the Green range, and 132 per cent more organic product than last year and made progress towards the development of a commercially effective and efficient supply contract," he said.
"In terms of seizing opportunities, none is more important than cementing partnerships that are durable, mutually respectful and enable co-operation to solve issues. This teamwork will continue to solidify the unique integrated business structure that New Zealand growers own and control so this business can withstand the heat of the marketplace."
"Meanwhile, we have to continue to maintain the level of financial achievement that we have become used to in recent years. Given the expected increases in global volumes and increasing pricing pressures, that will be difficult but a challenge we are well able to address."
Voss said that the focus would remain on the profitable strategic development of Zespri to year-round supply and marketing and the prudent development of the market for Zespri Gold Kiwifruit to complement the Green and Organic range.