EXPORT INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
WINNER: Zespri - SunGold Kiwifruit
Sponsored by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE)
When the New Zealand kiwifruit industry was decimated by a vine-killing pathogen six years ago, new bacteria-resistant cultivars were immediately developed, utilising resources committed to the crisis by Zespri, Plant and Food Research (PFR), and the government. The resulting Zespri SunGold kiwifruit has been a stunning commercial success, delivering over a billion dollars of sales, and is on target to generate about $40 billion over its Plant Variety Rights (PVR) life. SunGold is popular with consumers around the world, driving up demand, earning premium prices and generating value for growers, and allowing the kiwifruit industry to recover. Zespri has now licensed SunGold to be globally grown to ensure year-round supplies, and continues to invest millions annually into kiwifruit varieties for commercialisation.