Declining fruit sales in Asia trigger innovation

By Ripeka Timutimu

An ageing Japanese population is contributing to a decline in fruit sales in Japan. 

Māori kiwifruit growers were given the harsh reality from Zepsri CEO Lain Jager who says innovation is the key to survival in this market.

“If we are going to grow here it will be about bringing new products to the market and producing new formats in the market and taking market share off other fruits, otherwise that growth is just not available,” Te Kaha 2B Trust member Rongo Puha says.  

Puha says coming to Tokyo and visiting the local markets allows him to understand the needs of the consumer, and plan for the future. “I think you have to keep your mind open to the green type or gold type of kiwifruit, and you have to play that market, which these guys play,” he adds.

He was involved in the establishment of the Te Kaha 2B trust orchards, and says staying ahead of the game is crucial to their success.

“It would be good for our whanau of Te Whanau a Apanui to come here and see where their fruit ends up.”