Zespri has welcomed the signing of New Zealand’s free trade agreement with the European Union, noting the significant benefits it delivers to business, consumers, and communities in both countries.
The deal announced today includes the removal of tariffs on New Zealand kiwifruit exports to the EU upon entry into force. Zespri paid around $46.5m in tariffs on sales of more than $1 billion into the EU last season.
Speaking from Brussels Zespri Chairman Bruce Cameron said the agreement will help Zespri meet the growing demand for its fruit in Europe.
“This is a strong deal for a wide range of exporters including New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry and we’re really pleased to see it finalised.
“The FTA will set us up to expand our exports to Europe, providing more European consumers with the highest-quality Zespri Kiwifruit and helping deliver strong returns for our growers.
“As a purpose driven company with a focus on helping people, communities and the environment to thrive, we also welcome the continued focus on sustainability as Zespri moves towards having 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025 and being carbon neutral to consumers by 2035.”
Cameron said that Europe is one of Zespri’s largest markets and the company remains committed to deepening its relationships in the region.
“We partner with a number of growers in Italy, France and Greece to produce Zespri Kiwifruit as part of our strategy to establish 12-month supply of our fruit.
“This enables us to maintain our brand presence but also deliver strong returns to local communities and help create local jobs and investment.
“We also work together on biosecurity issues, ensuring that growers in both regions are better protected from pests or disease and we’re really proud of that contribution here.”
Cameron said the agreement would strengthen Zespri’s ability to deliver positive outcomes in Europe and New Zealand and acknowledge the hard work and leadership of our trade negotiators and the ambition of political leaders on both sides.
“Their leadership on improving trade ties to underpin growth and prosperity and to build stronger international connections has never been more important and this agreement is a strong platform to allow us to continue to do so.”