The primary fruit of the New Zealand orchards, Kiwi is today at the center of tensions between Beijing and the Oceania archipelago. One species in particular is said to have been illegally exported to China in recent years before being widely cultivated there …
It is a fruit that crystallizes tensions between the two countries. China On the one hand, New Zealand Another. Who would have thought that a small hairy fruit might have been the reason for this ?? The kiwi, which is widely produced in New Zealand and sold worldwide, is now also available in China.
A species that previously only grew up in the Oceania archipelago was illegally exported to its main trading partner China in the early 2010s, a recent article in the British newspaper reported. Protector, Included in International Mail . Between the legal battle and an attempt by a New Zealand company to re-grow this fruit, return to the fight around Kiwi.
Kiwi is the primary product of New Zealand orchards
With excellent climatic conditions and more than 2,500 orchards, kiwifruit cultivation is an important part of New Zealand’s agricultural landscape. Came from China in the early XXe Century, the fruit is widely grown on the two islands that make up New Zealand. The country has long been one of the world’s leading exporters of kiwi fruit. In 2017, only China and Italy produced more.
As the New Zealand market grew, orchards were affected by the onset of diseases in 2010. PSA bacteriosis affects many types of kiwifruit, causing the plants to rot and the fruit to shrink. A real economic catastrophe costing 900 New Zealand dollars or almost 530 million euros.
A life-saving yellow kiwi
As crops of many varieties of kiwifruit, including the new variety of yellow kiwifruit, have to be destroyed during this crisis, growers have considered and tested several varieties to combat the disease and save the local economy.
Producers: Jespri, the world’s leading exporter of New Zealand kiwifruit and the world’s largest distributor brand. The company reduced the number of varieties from 50,000 to 40 listed, four of which were tested in orchards. It was from these that the Gold 3 emerged, eventually entering the supermarket shelves under the name Sungold.
A soothing product, rich in vitamin C, soft-skinned, anti-bacterial and inexpensive. Kiwifruit company Jespri thought he had invented a successful recipe for his farmers.
Exported to China illegally
But in 2016, the company realized that it was no longer producing and exporting this type of kiwis … The investigation revealed that Hui Kao, who bought an orchard in New Zealand, had exported it illegally. Female plants of the genus Sungold to China for 60,000 New Zealand dollars or about 35,000 against.
The man was convicted by the New Zealand High Court 14 million New Zealand dollars (approximately 8 million euros) in damages, but Jespree, despite winning the lawsuit, was unable to stop the growth of illegal kiwi plantations in China, especially in Sichuan Province. .
A “test” of the New Zealand / China relationship
Today, facing the scale of these illegal crops and the lack of reaction from Beijing, Jespri is looking for solutions other than a legal fight against the Chinese company, which is still its main trading partner today.
Andrew Gillespie, Professor of International Law at the University of Waikato, New Zealand Guardian Further legal action could harm relations with Beijing: “It simply came to our notice then. You can win in theory, but often the price of winning is higher than you can get They may be [l’entreprise Zespri] Find yourself in the middle of a huge storm, and the end result will be far greater than this one intellectual property issue. “
Jespri, who is facing New Zealand’s foreign exchange against China, is now considering adding new Chinese players to its Sungold market. “Looking for a business solution, and an alignment with the Chinese industry gives us the best chance of success.” The Kiwi agent said in a statement.
It is a real geopolitical issue based on fruit production, so it could cause tension between the two countries if no solution is found that does not suit both parties. The situation was also questioned by Dr. Hongshi Kao, an associate professor at the School of International Business at the University of Victoria. Guardian, A “Relationship Test” From both countries. “There is also an opportunity here for the New Zealand government to present a very clear case to the Chinese central government.”
The British newspaper describes the situation paradoxically, that the fruit first came to New Zealand from China, before the producers gave it the name of the country’s symbolic bird.