Kiwiberry commercial production - what stage are we at?

P. Latocha, D. Vereecke, F. Debersaques
Commercial production of kiwiberry (Actinidia arguta) started in the early 1980s and it is therefore a relatively new crop. The grape-sized kiwiberry can be eaten without peeling, is tasty, and contains numerous pro-health chemical compounds, positioning it in the lead of the most nutritious fruits in the world. The area of kiwiberry commercial cultivation is increasing worldwide. The marketing strategy for this small “great” fruit is being developed to ensure its commercial success. Apart from some general facts, there is limited information available about the current status of worldwide kiwiberry production. Collecting this information is difficult because of the lack of statistics in this area. The first commercial plantations were established in the USA, Chile and Europe, but nowadays, kiwiberry production has spread into other regions. Substantial increases in kiwiberry production are observed in New Zealand and especially in China where new plantations of at least 1200 ha have been established. On a smaller scale, kiwiberry is produced in Japan and Korea. Unlike kiwifruit, kiwiberry cultivation is based on various, often local selections. Although kiwiberry is often consumed locally, new postharvest technologies now allow long-distance transport. Based upon recent data, the total kiwiberry crop for 2015 was estimated at 1600 t. Currently the largest kiwiberry producers, except the USA, are New Zealand, with a harvest of 157 t this year, and Sofruileg, owner of Nergi®, who started growing 'Hortgem Tahi' in Europe in 2009. A rapidly expanding group are growers associated with Ghent University in Belgium, with about 45 ha of production located mainly in Belgium and the Netherlands, but also in Poland where kiwiberry cultivation is becoming more significant. The increasing quantity of kiwiberry fruit on the market requires intensive promotion among consumers in order to maintain a balance in supply and demand.
Latocha, P., Vereecke, D. and Debersaques, F. (2018). Kiwiberry commercial production - what stage are we at?. Acta Hortic. 1218, 559-564
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1218.76
Actinidia arguta, mini kiwi, hardy kiwifruit, market, superfood, commercialization

Acta Horticulturae