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ZESPRI Kiwifruit for Europe

Wednesday April 19, 2006

ZESPRI Kiwifruit for Europe on MV Star First's Maiden Voyage

The first of this season's New Zealand ZESPRITM Kiwifruit bound for Europe will be carried on the MV Star First, in what will be her maiden voyage.

The newly built MV Star First will be loaded with more than 5,300 pallets of ZESPRITM GREEN, ZESPRITM GOLD and ZESPRTM GREEN ORGANIC underdeck, along with 30 refrigerated containers on deck, at the Port of Tauranga from tomorrow morning.

Her arrival in Zeebrugge, Belgium and the Ivory Ace in the Tarragona, Spain both in mid-May herald the start of another successful sales season for ZESPRI in its critical volume market.

"Our customers in Europe are eagerly awaiting the first of this season's ZESPRITM Kiwifruit from New Zealand and the arrival of the MV Star First and the Ivory Ace will kickstart the much anticipated sales programme," ZESPRI Chief Executive Tim Goodacre said.

The promotional programme in Europe will include television commercials, billboards and magazine advertising, in store promotions and consumer competitions, nutritional campaigns in schools and strong public relations focussing on the health and nutrition values of ZESPRITM Kiwifruit.

"With the favourable growing conditions and the earlier start to the season compared to last year, everything is looking promising for a good season. Continuing to deliver on the ZESPRITM Brand promise of quality, good tasting kiwifruit will be key."

The MV Star First is the first of four new specialised refrigerated vessels that Star Reefers is building, and the first significant reefer vessel to be built in more than five years.

ZESPRI Shipping Manager Mike Knowles said it is pleasing to see new reefer vessels being built, following the recent slowdown in construction.

"To have the MV Star First carrying ZESPRITM Kiwifruit on her maiden voyage is equally exciting. With her fast service speed we are looking for a quick transit to Europe."

Star Reefers' New Zealand representative John Malyon said the MV Star First is the first of the new generation specialised reefer vessels and demonstrates the high level of commitment that Star Reefers has to the specialised reefer industry.

"Superior air delivery and circulation, temperature and humidity control will ensure quality cargo out turns. Star Reefers' vessels have been carrying kiwifruit for many years mainly to Europe. The company fully intends to offer the fruit industry a specialised service in years to come," said Mr Malyon.


About the MV Star First


o The MV Star First was built for and operated by Star Reefers. She is the first of four new reefer (refrigerated) vessels they are building in the Shikoku dockyard in Japan.


The MV Star First was launched on December 20, 2005 and delivered on March 31, 2006.

- She has an underdeck capacity of 616,000 cubic feet and capacity for 200 forty foot containers on deck.

- The vessel's 21,500 bhp engine means that fully laden, she can steam at speeds in excess of 21 knots, in ballast 23 knots.

- Star Reefers is an independent ship owner, operating more than 40 reefer (refrigerated) vessels worldwide. Seventy percent of these are owned by Star Reefers.

- Star Reefers' distinctive blue star logo is well known in New Zealand ports.

- The MV Star First's three sister ships will be completed in December 2006, April and June 2007.

ENDS

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