bartopvideopokermachinesforsale|Feature: Kiwifruit's 100-year odyssey from China to New Zealand

super2024-06-26 15:05:0816News

BEIJING/SHANGHAI/CHENGDUbartopvideopokermachinesforsale, June 26 (Xinhua) -- When shopping in Chinese supermarkets, it is easy to find domestically produced Chinese kiwifruit, often called mihoutao by locals, and New Zealand's brand -- Zespri kiwifruit. They have a similar oval, brown shape and a refreshing sweet and tangy taste, making them a welcome delicacy pleasing to Chinese consumers' refined palates.

However, many people are unaware that New Zealand kiwifruit originates from China. Over a hundred years ago, the fruit embarked on an adventurous journey across the Pacific from China to New Zealand. Its cultivation and development in New Zealand have since become a testament to the enduring bond and friendship between these two nations.

bartopvideopokermachinesforsale|Feature: Kiwifruit's 100-year odyssey from China to New Zealand

CROSS-PACIFIC ODYSSEY

The earliest record of the fruit can be traced back to 2,800 years ago, when the fruit was depicted in the "Shijing," or the "Book of Odes," the oldest existing collection of Chinese poetry dating from the 11th to 7th centuries B.C. Its original name in Chinese, mihoutao or macaque fruit, refers to the monkey's liking for it, according to the 16th-century Chinese medical encyclopedia, the "Compendium of Materia Medica."

Its seeds were first introduced to New Zealand in the early 20th century by Isabel Fraser, a teacher from Whanganui on the North Island, who had visited her sister in China and brought back the seeds. The seeds were planted by a local farmer and the vines first fruited in 1910. People thought the fruit had a gooseberry flavor and began to call it the "Chinese gooseberry."

The Chinese gooseberry's rebranding didn't happen until New Zealand's merchants began to promote overseas market demand for the fruit in the 1950s. They decided to name the fuzzy, brown fruit after the country's furry, brown, flightless national bird -- the kiwi. In 1997, the Zespri kiwifruit brand was unveiled by the New Zealand Kiwifruit Marketing Board as part of a new global marketing strategy.

New Zealand growers spent many years to develop the first commercial variety of kiwi fruit. Selected by New Zealand horticulturalist Hayward Wright in 1928, the green-flesh variety is renowned for its delightful blend of sweet and tangy flavors and remains a household staple worldwide.

Later, it was brought back to China, "laying the foundation for the Chinese kiwifruit industry," said Ivan Kinsella, head of corporate affairs China at Zespri International.

The gold flesh variety became famous in the last 15 years, followed by the ruby red variety in the last couple of years, he said. "China already accounts for about 50 percent of our total exports of the new red kiwifruit," Kinsella said.

CHINESE MARKET

"The Chinese market is really important," Kinsella told Xinhua in a recent interview. "China is by far the largest country market (of Zespri)," he said, noting that China's imports account for approximately 27 percent of Zespri's total exports, which should be around 200,000 tons this year.

"This year we will have probably around 23 chartered reefers, or refrigerated vessels, that are 100 percent with Zespri fruit coming directly from New Zealand to China," he said. Without stopping, it takes about 12 days for the fruit to arrive in the best condition at a number of Chinese ports, including Shanghai, Taizhou and Dongguan, he added.

With the steady growth of kiwifruit exports to China, Zespri will continue the expansion and consolidation of its supply chain throughout China, Kinsella said. "That's a major focus for us."

Currently, the company has established an offline presence in over 60 cities in China and plans to double the number to 120 over the next five years as economic and trade relations between the two countries continue to flourish, he said.

China's ever-improving customs clearance process allows kiwifruit to enter the Chinese market more quickly. For example, at the Shanghai Nangang port, where Zespri's freighters frequently dock, Yangshan customs provides convenient clearance measures through advance declaration and other initiatives. Customs officers work around the clock to supervise the unloading and storage of goods, ensuring seamless clearance.

"We already have very rapid clearance of our fruit," said Kinsella. With the implementation of a quarantine protocol between the two countries last year, the clearance rate has been accelerated even more, he added, noting "the big majority of the kiwifruit that arrives actually clears customs the same day."

"So that's been very successful, and a great outcome from the various free trade agreements that we have established," he said.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world's largest free trade deal comprising 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries, as well as China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, entered into force on Jan. 1, 2022.

This monumental agreement not only underscores the importance of regional economic integration but also highlights the growing interconnectedness of markets. Such developments create a favorable condition for the ongoing cooperation and mutual benefits seen in the kiwifruit trade between China and New Zealand.

STRENGTHENED COOPERATION

Today, China is the world's largest grower of kiwifruit, while New Zealand is the world's largest exporter of kiwifruit. Experts believe that research and innovation in the kiwifruit industry offer immense potential for the two countries to cooperate and better meet the needs for high-quality kiwifruit among Chinese consumers.

In his recent official visit to New Zealand, Chinese Premier Li Qiang visited the China-New Zealand Belt-and-Road Joint Laboratory on Kiwifruit in Auckland. He said that the laboratories in China and New Zealand complement each other's strengths and collaborate effectively. Through the empowerment of science and technology, the laboratories provide support for the further improvement and upgrading of the kiwifruit industry in both countries, and add momentum to the development of the kiwifruit industry in the Belt and Road countries.

In 2014, the China-New Zealand Kiwifruit Joint Lab was unveiled. In 2020, the lab was included in the list of Belt and Road joint laboratories by China's Ministry of Science and Technology.

The lab established an international cooperation and exchange platform for Chinese and New Zealand scientists, said Li Mingzhang, former Chinese director of the joint lab.

It has facilitated extensive collaboration in kiwifruit germplasm resource development and utilization, industry standardization, food safety and talent cultivation, exploring a path of international cooperation in science and technology and innovation, said Li, who is also a senior researcher at the Sichuan Provincial Academy of Natural Resource Sciences.

Researchers from China's Sichuan province have also independently cultivated a commercially viable red-flesh kiwifruit variety called "Hongyang" after years of efforts, Li said. "Currently, the new variety we developed has obtained variety protection rights in 14 countries and the European Union, and has been authorized for cultivation on more than 3,500 hectares of farmland in countries such as Italy and Chile."

"China has got some fantastic varieties of kiwifruit, particularly the green kiwifruit. They're a little bit sweeter than the New Zealand ones. The red varieties, like Hongyang from Sichuan, are also very tasty," Kinsella said.

The two countries' kiwifruit industries "are very complementary," he said, as New Zealand kiwifruit began arriving in China at the end of March, filling a gap in the market when Chinese kiwifruit is not available.

China produces more than 2 million tons of kiwifruit annually. In comparison, New Zealand's production is much smaller, estimated at around 700,000 tons this year, said Kinsella. "Despite our smaller industry size, New Zealand has made significant strides in developing the international market."

Expressing hope to provide consumers with a year-round supply of kiwifruit, Kinsella said Zespri is actively exploring the cultivation of kiwifruit in China to leverage the New Zealand growing season in the Southern Hemisphere and the Chinese growing season in the Northern Hemisphere to better serve the Chinese market.

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