Zespri’s 2022-23 financial results reflect one of its “toughest-ever seasons”

From Fresh Fruit Portal | 8 June 2023

Overview of kiwifruits from New Zealand in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on June 6, 2023. 

Zespri has shared its 2022-23 financial results which reflect a challenging period for the kiwifruit industry, according to a release by the New Zealand-based company, the world’s largest kiwifruit marketer.

According to the release, grower returns are down with fruit quality issues driven by the industry’s severe labor shortage, cost increases, and supply chain challenges.

With global sales volumes down from 201.5 million trays to 183.5 million, Zespri recorded total global fruit sales revenue of USD$2.38 billion in 2022-23, down 3% on the record result of 2021-22.

Zespri Chief Executive Officer Dan Mathieson says the results indicate a very difficult period for many producers, with growers facing challenges relating to the labor shortage, the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, the climate, and rising costs.

“This was one of our toughest-ever seasons and the industry worked incredibly hard to deliver our fruit to market, despite facing an extraordinary number of challenges including a significant labor shortage.

“We continued to see strong demand and pricing in the market and secured more than $100 million in savings via our foreign exchange hedging policy. However, quality costs have significantly impacted grower returns which have dropped from the highs recorded in recent seasons.”

kiwifruit volumes by his 3

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Zespri’s Non-New Zealand Supply sales decreased to US$315 million, down from $326 million last year. This reflects similar challenges experienced at the company’s offshore growing regions, with their Italian growers in particular facing extreme heat and some of the worst quality costs they have experienced in recent years.

Additionally,  Zespri’s net profit after tax was US$144 million, back from the record profit of $219 million in 2021-22, with Zespri releasing a reduced number of SunGold Kiwifruit hectares as part of its 2022-23 license release program.

Regardless of the downward outcomes for the year, Mathieson offered a positive outlook for the industry.

“While conditions remain challenging, the first shipments of the 2023-24 season have been well received by our customers, indicating initiatives from the industry’s Quality Action Plan are helping reduce quality costs and keeping poorer quality fruit onshore.”

“Our industry has a proven track record of being able to address challenges by working together and with a strong demand outlook, we remain encouraged by the opportunity for the industry to deliver greater value for growers and our stakeholders in the years ahead,” says Mathieson.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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