The leader of a group of Bay of Plenty Maori kiwifruit growers and investors, which has just returned from attending and opening a trade conference in Japan, says the trip was an unqualified success.
The annual conference in Tokyo which Zespri organises, attracts fruit buyers from all over the world.
The business and cultural delegation of 55 people are all associated with Te Awanui Huka Pak, a company based at Mount Maunganui.
Huka Pak chief executive Hemi Rolleston says their presence helped restore buyer confidence in an industry which has been severely hit by the bacterial disease Psa.
He says there were presentations from companies such as Dole and other big fruit importers in Japan.
Mr Rolleston says it's a long term game and the Japanese pride themselves on being long term players.