Main changes in the kiwifruit industry since its introduction: present situation and future

G. Costa, R. Ferguson, H. Huang, R. Testolin
History since the 1st ISHS Symposium: in 1987, the first ISHS Kiwifruit Symposium was held in Padua, Italy. At that time, the kiwifruit industry was in its infancy. Thirty years later, kiwifruit have become an important fruit crop in several countries. Production and marketing situation: New Zealand domesticated the species and still remains very important in international markets. At the end of the last century, Italy became the biggest producer of kiwifruit in the northern hemisphere, followed by France, the Iberian Peninsula and Greece, while, in the southern hemisphere, New Zealand and Chile are the most important countries. The biggest change over the last decade has been the increasing importance of China, now producing more than half the world’s kiwifruit and the largest producer of yellow- and red-fleshed kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis var. chinensis). Also, Turkey and Iran have increased their plantings. Kiwifruit industry change: 30 years ago, the kiwifruit industry was based on a single cultivar (‘Hayward’) belonging to a single variety of one Actinidia species (A. chinensis var. deliciosa), but now yellow- and some red-fleshed kiwifruit cultivars are being cultivated. Change in pre- and post-harvest management: most pre- and post-harvest management techniques and parameters were originally defined for ‘Hayward’ grown under New Zealand conditions, and may not be suitable for other cultivars or even ‘Hayward’ grown under different conditions. The growing systems and the harvesting indices may have to be changed to ensure high-quality fruit for both green- and yellow-fleshed cultivars recently introduced. Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa): the disease is still a real problem, and the yellow- and red-fleshed cultivars cultivars of A. chinensis var. chinensis seem particularly susceptible. Breeding: Psa-resistant or -tolerant cultivars remain the optimal solution. Fruit quality: kiwifruit are now marketed throughout the world, and consumers are more demanding in terms of fruit quality, safety, etc. It is challenging, indeed presumptuous, to forecast the future but, in the next few years, the main changes might be the replacement of existing cultivars with others tolerant or resistant to Psa and market evolution, with export from new countries.
Costa, G., Ferguson, R., Huang, H. and Testolin, R. (2018). Main changes in the kiwifruit industry since its introduction: present situation and future. Acta Hortic. 1218, 1-16
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1218.1
new cultivars, emerging diseases, Psa, production changes, kiwifruit markets, cultivars, harvesting indices, fruit quality

Acta Horticulturae