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World Kiwifruit Conference in Bay of Plenty

9 September 2004

World Kiwifruit Conference in Bay of Plenty next week

The Bay of Plenty next week plays host to the 23rd International Kiwifruit Conference (IKO). Delegates from eight countries including Korea, Iran, Spain, Italy, Portugal, France, US and Japan will be welcomed by Tauranga Mayor, Jan Benge at a special function on Sunday 12 September at the Mount Surf Club. The conference, held in France last year, is being held in New Zealand as part of the New Zealand centennial celebrations. It was last held in New Zealand in 1999. ZESPRI International and conference Chairman, Mr Craig Greenlees said the conference was an excellent opportunity for countries to share information and ideas about issues surrounding growing and marketing kiwifruit worldwide.

“Not only will the delegates have the opportunity to see why the Bay of Plenty provides some of the best kiwifruit growing conditions in the world but they will also be able to experience firsthand some of the other attractions the area has to offer.

“We are particularly proud to have this group here to share our celebrations of 100 years since kiwifruit first arrived in New Zealand. “The conference allows each of the countries involved to share information about production, consumption and promotion without giving away our unique selling features and competitive advantage.

“This is still a relatively small industry worldwide and we need to ensure things that affect the broader industry are canvassed. It also provides us with an opportunity to jointly commission research to identify benefits from eating kiwifruit,” he said.

The week long conference will discuss forecast future production by country, the implications of rapidly expanding Chinese production, as well as the latest information about the health benefits of kiwifruit. Other topics to be covered include the implications of Free Trade Agreements on tariff levels, meeting customer requirements, new varieties and promotional campaigns.

The group will also spend some time in the industry visiting a number of orchards, packhouses and the ZESPRI International headquarters. The first IKO meeting was held in Paris 20 years ago. For media inquiries please contact: Jo Ireland Corporate Communications Manager

ENDS


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