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Kiwifruit: the key elements of success and failure in the NZ kiwifruit industry

Kilgour, M.
Saunders, Caroline M.
Scrimgeour, F.
Zellman, Eva
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::1402 Applied Economics
The study explores the nature and performance of the New Zealand kiwifruit industry from 1980 to 2006. As almost 94 per cent of kiwifruit produced in New Zealand is exported, the focus of this study is on the export sector of the kiwifruit industry. Value chain theory is used to define the kiwifruit industry in New Zealand. The value chain links the key participants and organisations that ultimately bring kiwifruit to consumers. Therefore, it incorporates the three main stages from the orchard to market - growing kiwifruit, post harvest operations, and exporting. The examination of the industry since 1980 can be separated into the following key focus areas: 1. Changing market characteristics: production trends, target markets, changing consumer preferences and increasing competition. 2. Operating environment: how different factors have changed to impact on the industry. 3. Industry structure: changes at the firm and industry level in response to changing circumstances and environments. 4. Conduct and performance: analysis of broad performance measures, extent of sharing of information, knowledge and resources within the industry, and the degree of interdependence along the value chain. In particular this study explores the kiwifruit industry’s current single desk seller structure – Zespri. It examines how it evolved by looking at the structural developments that preceded its existence and the factors that influenced its formation. It also looks at the recent consolidation amongst post-harvest operators and explores the factors that have bought about this change. It reviews how the industry has responded to changing market conditions by producing new products and how the role of marketing (i.e. branded products) has influenced export turnover.
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