Meet Our Growers

Zespri is cultivated like a fine wine. Good orchard management is key to ensuring the fruit meets Zespri’s taste and quality standards. Zespri is a grower-owned company and all Zespri growers are held to the same orchard management standards.

Meet a few of our growers and learn more about their experience and passion for growing the world’s best tasting kiwifruit.

Meet Dennis and Debbie Robinson

Based in Te Puke, Dennis and Debbie Robinson are some of New Zealand’s many dairy farmers who have converted farmland to a commercial kiwifruit orchard. They have been growing Zespri Green Kiwifruit for over 30 years and Zespri Organic Green Kiwifruit for over 10 years. They have a desire to protect and nurture the environment that provides shelter and a livelihood for their family.

When not working, Dennis and Debbie enjoy watching the sun set over their orchard from their front garden and listening to the sounds of the native birds. They also like travelling to different countries and seeing people enjoy their kiwifruit.

Based in the Bay of Plenty, Te Puke is the Kiwifruit Capital of the world with around 75 percent of Zespri Kiwifruit coming from there – it is literally surrounded by orchards.

The town’s name means ‘The Hill’, and should be pronounced “teh-pook-eh.”

Meet Terry and Mary Richards

Terry and Mary Richards are long-time kiwifruit orchardists – they have been growing kiwifruit since 1981. Growing such a healthy fruit for people to enjoy is important to them. They grow Zespri Green and SunGold Kiwifruit on their orchard in Paengaroa which is a largely rural settlement just outside of Te Puke.

Based in the Bay of Plenty, Te Puke is the Kiwifruit Capital of the world with around 75 percent of Zespri Kiwifruit coming from there – it is literally surrounded by orchards.

The town’s name means ‘The Hill’, and should be pronounced “teh-pook-eh.”

Meet Jeff and Shirley Roderick

Jeff and Shirley Roderick grow Green and Organic SunGold Kiwifruit on their Te Puke orchard. They are industry leaders in organic orchard practices, and believe soil nutrition is critical.

Jeff and Shirley’s favourite part of the year is the kiwifruit harvest when they see the results of their hard work as the fruit is gently picked and transported to the packhouse in preparation for packing for export. They have long-standing relationships with our orchard workers, their families and foreign casual staff. They often gather around the table for home-cooked meals together.

Based in the Bay of Plenty, Te Puke is the Kiwifruit Capital of the world with around 75 percent of Zespri Kiwifruit coming from there – it is literally surrounded by orchards.

The town’s name means ‘The Hill’, and should be pronounced “teh-pook-eh.”

Meet Dave and Julie Smith

Dave and Julie Smith’s home is on their orchard in Te Puke where they grow Zespri Green and SunGold Kiwifruit.
Both Dave and Julie have been heavily involved with the kiwifruit industry for over 30 years. They are innovative growers and take a lot of care to get the balance of organic matter in the soils right – Julie describes the soil as the key to healthy vines, good sized kiwifruit, greater orchard yields and better tasting fruit packed full of nutrients and vitamins.

Dave and Julie come from farming backgrounds and are working to establish a farming museum on their orchard to preserve history in this ever-increasing fast paced world and to ensure that future generations can see and understand the effort that was put in farming practices.

Based in the Bay of Plenty, Te Puke is the Kiwifruit Capital of the world with around 75 percent of Zespri Kiwifruit coming from there – it is literally surrounded by orchards.

The town’s name means ‘The Hill’, and should be pronounced “teh-pook-eh.”

Meet Brian Carlyle

Brian Carlyle grows 3.5 hectares of Zespri Organic Green Kiwifruit and manages his parent’s 12 hectares of orchard. Situated in the Tauranga region, Brian’s orchard is not far from the Port of Tauranga, which is New Zealand’s largest export port in terms of cargo volume. It is also just a 15 minute drive from one of New Zealand’s most popular beach towns, Mount Maunganui.

Brian grew up on his parent’s kiwifruit orchard and started helping them with it as a child in his school holidays and weekends. He bought his own small orchard when he was 23 and now owns two and leases one.
Brian enjoys growing Zespri Kiwifruit and is always looking for new ways to improve the fruit he grows and sends to customers.

Meet Allen and Viv Geck

Allen and Viv Geck have grown kiwifruit for 15 years. They grow three hectares of Zespri Organic Green and one hectare of Organic SunGold Kiwifruit.

Their orchard is just outside of Cambridge, a town in the Waikato Region of the North Island of New Zealand. Lake Karapiro, recognised as one of the premium rowing lakes in the world, is close by, producing several world rowing champions, notably Rob Waddell and Mahé Drysdale.

As well as growing kiwifruit, Allen and Viv were dairy farmers for 40 years with a 110-strong Jersey herd, including a champion jersey bull. They sold the herd in 2014 to focus on growing Zespri Kiwifruit.

Learn More About Zespri Kiwifruit

Kiwi Questions

Recipes

The Zespri System

Zespri Kiwifruit is available at retailers all across the United States and Canada.

Select a region on the map to find a grocery or market near you.