A privately-owned analytical lab has signed a contract with Zespri, a "crucial element" in making sure the kiwifruit continue being tasty.
Hill Laboratories, New Zealand's largest privately owned, independent analytical laboratory, has signed a contract with Zespri Kiwifruit, New Zealand's largest horticultural exporter, to provide fruit collection and maturity testing services.
Hill Laboratories has an established relationship with Zespri, having completed residue testing for 19 years.
This would broaden the relationship and support the New Zealand grower's co-operative.
The establishment of a Hill Laboratories' laboratory in Tauranga will complement the already functioning Hamilton, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Blenheim labs.
The testing is part of Zespri's export maturity clearance programme where maturity samples are collected and processed before being cleared for harvesting.
This plays a role in the taste programme which incentivises growers to produce tasty kiwifruit.
As part of the extended commitment to the partnership, Hill Laboratories made a significant IT and infrastructure investment.
Hill Laboratories chief executive Dr Jonno Hill said they were "proud" to extend the partnership allowing further support for the kiwifruit industry.
"Accurate analyses are our core business, and our commitment to service excellence will provide the kiwifruit industry with assurance," he said.
He said testing would be delivered by a New Zealand-owned company, contributing to the New Zealand economy.
"The future is looking bright for the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, and we're thrilled to be playing a more significant role in the coming years," Hill said.
Zespri chief global supply officer Alastair Hulbert was confident that Hill Laboratories would deliver the service effectively.
Services Hullbert said were a "crucial element" in Zespri continuing to provide great tasting kiwifruit to our global consumers.
Supplied press release.