Kiwifruit help New Zealand importers fill U.S. niche - The Packer

Kiwifruit help New Zealand importers fill U.S. niche

10/26/2011 05:59:00 PM
Chris Koger

Michele Hoard, senior marketing manager, Zespri International, said her company ships to North America from mid-May through November, with ships arriving regularly at different ports in North America.

“We continue to raise the bar and encourage other growing regions to adopt our great growing standards to help the entire category,” she said.

New Zealand plays a particularly important role in specialty items, said Hazel Kelly, spokeswoman for Frieda’s Inc., Los Alamitos, Calif.

“For specialties like tamarillos, New Zealand is one of the only commercial suppliers to the U.S.,” she said.

Kelly said Export NZ Wellington branch reports that 99.6% of all export/imports are traded via ship.

Shipments from New Zealand to North America likely will remain strong and secure, Kelly said, adding that Maurice Williamson, New Zealand’s Minister of Customs and Small Business, “has secured a big competitive advantage for exporters to the U.S.

“The Mutual Recognition Agreement signed between the two countries’ customs agencies has been improved: New Zealand shipments processed at U.S. borders are now 3.5 times less likely than any other trade to be examined for security (terrorism-related) reasons if the exporter is a member of New Zealand’s Secure Exporters Scheme — that already showed their goods were low risk,” she said. “New Zealand is the only country known to have this advantage.”

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