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Laban Speech: Zespri export commendation

Winnie Laban Speech: Zespri export commendation Mt Maunganui

Thank you for that welcome, Todd Muller. This is an important ceremony, and I want to acknowledge and thank all the important people here: ZESPRI directors and staff, representatives of the Kiwifruit industry, distinguished guests, and all the people who have made this export commendation award possible.

Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton sends his apologies. He would really liked to have been here today, but unfortunately, his overseas travel commitments have meant real constraints on the time he spends in New Zealand ? fleeting as that time is in the build-up to the World Trade Meeting in Mexico later this year. We all have a lot riding on the success of that meeting.

Personally, I am delighted to be here. This is my first official function as the new parliamentary private secretary for trade. I am really pleased that it is to present a Trade New Zealand export award to Zespri International, one of our most well-known exporters.

ZESPRI has won this award for its outstanding success in international markets.

This organisation generates $800 million in foreign exchange earnings annually, almost all of that from export sales to markets around the world.

For five consecutive seasons ZESPRI has increased returns to its shareholders and growers.

That is a remarkable achievement, given the increasingly challenging international environment ZESPRI operatse in and the fast improving competition trying to emulate its success.

New Zealand could be described as a horticultural heaven with its biosecure, clean environment allowing it to produce horticultural products and technology which leads the world.

The range of fruit and vegetables grown is astounding, and no product more so that our largest earner, kiwifruit

As the marketing arm of the New Zealand Kiwifruit Industry, selling to 65 countries, ZESPRI is a global category leader.

Through its global network and outstanding marketing campaigns, the company is achieving growing recognition for the ZESPRI brand and recognition that it stands for consistently excellent quality and taste.

To secure its market position the company has also responded to customers' demands by offering them a choice of ZESPRI kiwifruit.

Two ZESPRI products have attracted high profile attention recently.

ZESPRI Organic for which the company was recently named New Zealand's Organic Exporter of the Year, with sales of organic kiwifruit worth $25 million annually?

?and ZESPRI Gold ? the tropical tasting kiwifruit that was launched in 1998 after many years of natural breeding and plant selection.

Product development in the horticultural industry is a long term and complicated undertaking, however that didn't stop ZESPRI producing ZESPRI Gold.

I understand that only four major fruits and nuts were domesticated in the 20th Century ? and ZESPRI Gold is one of them.

The fruit is an innovative breakthrough, which has put the company at the head of its category globally.

Of course you can have the most fantastic fruit in the world, but if no one knows about its not going to make any money. ZESPRI committed millions not only to the product of the new Gold Kiwifruit, but also to marketing it internationally ? this effective marketing camaign combined with the excellent taste of the ZESPRI Gold has created a demand for the fruit that has exceeded all expectations.

Importantly, a key priority for ZESPRI is to protect the intellectual property for ZESPRI? GOLD so the New Zealand pioneering investment in the variety is rewarded and exclusivity is retained.

Amongst ZESPRI's strengths noted by the Export Award judges are its integrated approach to leadership that is reflected throughout the value chain, from growers and owners to suppliers and alliance partners. This leadership system fosters strong communication channels and allows this large organisation to be agile and responsive to market needs.

The culture of partnership and collaboration between staff and growers also drives a passion for customer satisfaction and service standards.

ZESPRI International is a high performing organisation. It benchmarks itself against the best in the world.

It is helping to put New Zealand and Tauranga on the map.

It is an organisation that has demonstrated a commitment to quality and innovation and to achieving excellent results for its many stakeholders.

You are generating valuable foreign exchange earnings and jobs for New Zealand.

Congratulations to Craig Greenlees, Tim Goodacre and the ZESPRI International team on winning this Trade New Zealand Export Award. You should be extremely proud of your achievements to date.

It now gives me great pleasure to present the Trade New Zealand ZESPRI INTERNATIONAL EXPORT AWARD to Tim Goodacre.

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