15 Oct 2008

Final gold kiwifruit licences allocated

1:09 pm on 15 October 2008

Zespri has allocated the last of the additional licences it plans to issue for growing the gold variety of the fruit.

The kiwifruit marketer expects to have enough gold kiwifruit coming on-stream to meet an increasing international demand out to 2015.

Zespri owns the plant variety rights for the fruit and is controlling the amount being planted, both in New Zealand and overseas, to avoid a glut on world markets.

Over the past three years, it's issued licences for a further 600 hectares of gold kiwifruit to be grown in New Zealand. Zespri has now allocated the final 222 hectares of that.

Growers who successfully tendered for licences will pay an average price of more than $26,000 a hectare.

Zespri says there was strong demand from growers, with tenders received for almost double the amount allocated in the final round.

Growers who won licences in the final round will plant the vines in the next two years.

That will bring total gold kiwifruit plantings in New Zealand to more than 2700 hectares.