Becoming part of the Zespri success story by investing with SCH

Becoming part of the Zespri success story by investing with SCH

Zespri is a local business made good. The kiwifruit co-operative is one of those rare New Zealand businesses that is succeeding on a truly international stage. Last year, Zespri supplied 180 million trays of kiwifruit globally and Zespri has aspirations to do even more for orchardists and investors here. As one of those orchardists, Southern Cross Horticulture grows Zespri fruit and exports it to the world. Investors in our orchards become part of the Zespri success story too.


Zespri was established when New Zealand growers decided to establish a single exporter to take their kiwifruit to the world. It owns the plant variety rights to multiple varieties of commercially grown kiwifruit, which it licenses to orchardists. In return, those orchardists supply Zespri, which maintains the marketing infrastructure and brand presence to whet consumers’ appetites in over 50 countries and the supply chains to reach them.Despite the challenges of COVID-19, last year’s sales of 180 million trays was “a 10 percent increase on the previous financial year”, and “global revenue generated by fruit sales increased by 14 percent to $3.58 billion.”


A number of trends support Zespri’s stellar performance, starting with increased worldwide demand for nutritious food like SunGold from a safe, well-respected country. COVID-19 fuelled this trend, “with the health crisis driving greater awareness of health and wellbeing and a desire to eat and live better,” especially for foods high in vitamin C like kiwifruit. In fact, Zespri points out that, “the fibre content, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals of kiwifruit drive its superior nutritional value and make it one of the healthiest fruits available.” This trend is likely to continue thanks to ageing populations around the world, increased in-home consumption of snacks, and countries grappling with health challenges like obesity and diabetes. The majority of this increase in demand is for the Zespri SunGold variety that we grow.


There’s plenty of room for Zespri to grow too, with significant markets around the world untapped and kiwifruit still a relatively small proportion of the global fruit bowl. For example, Zespri’s making inroads into North American markets where it’s currently under-represented. Recently Zespri advised that kiwifruit had, “jumped to fourth place in the fastest growing fruit segment in the US. It is also one of 10 fruit segments to show positive grow thin volume versus last year, with Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit driving the majority of growth (+54 percent in dollar sales).”


Zespri also manages a number of fundamentals very carefully which protects investors’ interests, and the industry as a whole.

  • Controlling supply and demand to maintain value and prices: In most industries, the level of demand seen for kiwifruit would entice a lot of new suppliers into the market, creating an oversupply that runs ahead of demand. In this situation, prices fall and there can be a glut of unwanted product. But Zespri manages the relationship between supply and demand very carefully, stimulating consumers’ appetite for kiwifruit with a strong marketing focus while also requiring potential growers to purchase a licence for each hectare of orchard they wish to plant. By capping the annual licence release, Zespri controls the growth in kiwifruit production so it stays proportional to the growth in demand.
  • Innovating to create new IP and plant varieties: Like us, Zespri is committed to innovation to be at the forefront of global trends. For example, it recently announced a new Kiwifruit Breeding Centre in conjunction with Plant & Food Research with the goal of stimulating faster development of new varieties to drive     the future of kiwifruit.
  • Taking kiwifruit to the world through a powerful marketing engine: Zespri has a world-class marketing and branding operation that is constantly reaching out to new consumers. For example, the popular “Kiwi Brothers” campaign is a success in multiple countries. Recently in Australia it reached 8.2 million TV viewers, and “secured close to 16,000,000 impressions on YouTube, and more than 6,000,000 impressions across social media.”


Although it’s big, Zespri’s also very nimble. As our CEO, Andrew Dunstan, points out, “This is agriculture so in any given year you don’t know what’s going to happen,” and that makes Zespri’s astute management and agility particularly important.

  • Zespri’s strong and flexible supply chains helped it navigate last year’s Suez Canal blockage, and the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. Zespri was able to use “both container and charter reefer [refrigerated] vessels which provided flexibility and mitigated risk by avoiding the serious congestion at major overseas container terminals.”
  • Zespri’s also leading the charge on sustainability. Zespri has committed that, “Our packaging will be 100 per cent recyclable, reusable or compostable by     2025,” that it will improve nutrient monitoring, enhance water quality, and “will become carbon positive by 2035.” In August 2021, Zespri also conducted a climate scenario analysis and has developed a strategy to address “climate risks and opportunities.”
  • Zespri pivoted rapidly when worldwide lockdowns arrived last year. The company was able “to re-prioritise much of [its] marketing spend to in-home media, as well as digital and social media advertising”, setting it up well to continue to use these channels to reach consumers in future.


“Zespri really enables growers’ success,” says our CEO, Andrew Dunstan. Zespri allows all the players in the New Zealand kiwifruit industry to work collaboratively and to specialise in what they do best. Andrew explains, “Without Zespri we would lack the cohesive marketing strength, logistics capability, and innovation programmes we have today.” He points out that you can see the Zespri difference when you look at other Southern Hemisphere growers like Chile. “You’ve got green kiwifruit, which are non-patented, and New Zealanders get over $1.75 per kg through Zespri and Chilean growers without a centralised marketer get around $0.40 That says it all.”


Investors in SCH orchards can be part of the Zespri success story in two ways. First, by co-investing with us they become owners of a proportional share in one of our orchards supplying the world through Zespri’s finely-tuned production and distribution system. Second, we’ll buy Zespri shares through our investment vehicle when it’s appropriate to do so, an opportunity that’s limited to kiwifruit industry participants. Global Zespri sales reached $3.5 billion last year, and it’s targeting $4.5 billion by 2025. Why not consider becoming part of this opportunity?

Join us for a webinar

Hear directly from the team behind our latest investment orchard, Hereford Park. Join Andrew Dunstan, CEO of Southern CrossHorticulture, and David Hay, principal of Antipodes Capital, at one of our free webinars on 25 November and 3 December 2021. They’ll explain the ins-and-outs of kiwifruit investing, why they invest their own money in orchard developments, and the opportunity at Hereford Park, and they’ll answer all your questions.

Watch the webinar
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