Persimmons are a quiet achiever for Gisborne growers. The region grows 70% of the national crop, most of it is exported, and existing growers are increasing their plantings.
Citrus exporting is more of a challenge but First Fresh managing director Ian Albers says they're aiming for niche, high paying markets during the Asian off season.
He says being able to tell the story behind the fruit pays dividends. Clients love visiting Gisborne, and recently some visiting Japanese wanted "the Gizzie life style".
"They want to relax, and all they want to do is camp on the front lawn and cook over an open fire."