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Opinion: Michael Fox

Helping people around the world thrive through the goodness of Zespri Kiwifruit Michael Fox, Director of External Relations, Zespri talks about how the pandemic has heightened the importance of the local, neighborhood fruit vendors in India.

As the impacts of Covid-19 continue to be felt around the world we’ve seen people become increasingly focused on their own health and wellbeing and also that of our communities and our environment. At Zespri that’s our purpose: We’re focused on helping people, communities and the environment to thrive through the goodness of kiwifruit. We’re delighted to be doing more and more in India and we want to make an even greater contribution in the future. This season’s harvest of Zespri Kiwifruit is quickly approaching and we’re expecting another record-breaking crop for our global customers and consumers, including in India where demand for our premium kiwifruit continues to grow.

pandemic. We’ve learned a number of lessons and it’s been incredibly encouraging to see those lessons shared so we can better respond together. Our priority has been to support our people’s health and wellbeing, and to make sure we delivered our crop to the markets. That culminated in a huge effort from people across the supply chain as we safely picked, packed and shipped our Zespri Kiwifruit. In order to achieve this, we implemented enhanced hygiene practices to keep people safe and we also used a greater number of charter reefer ships in case of any disruption at offshore ports. Some of these lessons have been embedded now in our operations.

As people inevitably spent more time online for both entertainment and grocery shopping, Zespri’s sales and marketing teams shifted our focus to digital platforms and at-home media, to engage with consumers where they were looking for information and inspiration, and to remind them that Zespri Kiwifruit is a fresh, healthy fruit that’s rich in Vitamin C and tastes great. This saw our teams around the world develop strong, compelling campaigns to highlight the superior Vitamin C content in our kiwifruit, and remind consumers that they can get 100 percent of their daily Vitamin C in just one Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit.

With Covid-19 driven restrictions, sampling programmes could not be carried out at retail. However, our global teams developed new and innovative ways to continue with As our partners, customers and consumer education programmes in consumers around the world began Over the last few seasons in to live, work and shop differently, our the market, so our consumers could India, we’ve been working hard be informed of Zespri Kiwifruit’s marketing teams quickly responded to get our Zespri Kiwifruit to fantastic health benefits, especially to the new environment. We also consumers. To achieve this, the high Vitamin C content. recognised a shift in the needs of we’ve run an industry-first our consumers, including a strong engagement and relationshipIn India, our teams worked building programme that’s focused demand for fresh, healthy fruit in strongly on building the capability our major markets, including people closely with our e-commerce partners as well as the online of neighbourhood fruit vendors to wanting an immunity boost. This is extension of traditional, physical because with greater precautions help strengthen their businesses stores. With people taking fewer being taken, fewer trips to physical and sales. We’re helping upskill trips to stores, this heightened stores and less time spent outside our partners ensuring so we can do the importance of Indian or commuting, our traditional more together and we’re incredibly neighborhood fruit vendors. communication and sampling encouraged by the progress we’re programmes were no longer as making and the partnerships we’re We’re excited about another great effective for reaching our Zespri building. season, and helping even more of our consumers. Indian consumers to thrive through This has been even more important the goodness of our Zespri Kiwifruit. to us in light of the COVID-19

Michael Fox Head of Communications and External Relations, Zespri

Michael Fox is Head of Communications and External Relations at Zespri International. He leads Zespri’s external communications, stakeholder engagement, policy, global tours and events and community investment programmes.