EarlyBirds and Zespri Collaborate to Explore Solutions for Carbon Footprint Reduction and Innovation in the Kiwifruit Industry

EarlyBirds, the open innovation intelligence platform renowned for its expertise in Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) and transformative technology identification, is excited to announce a collaboration project with Zespri, global leader in the kiwifruit industry known for its dedication to excellence and sustainability. This project will support Zespri in realizing its vision for sustainable operations and carbon footprint reduction across the kiwifruit supply chain.

A cornerstone of this collaboration is EarlyBirds' distinctive approach to innovation intelligence leveraging OSINT data. With a robust mapping of existing capabilities and the utilization of collaborative tools, EarlyBirds helps Zespri gain strategic insights into the transformative potential of emerging technologies for kiwifruit supply chain decarbonization.

Of particular significance, EarlyBirds' pioneering Ecosystem Maps provide a panoramic view of strengths, weaknesses, and collaborative prospects across diverse industry domains and emerging technologies. This holistic perspective equips Zespri to foster impactful partnerships and collectively address challenges within the kiwifruit industry.

"We are thrilled to embark on this journey with EarlyBirds," said Octavio Perez Garcia, Innovation Leader for Global Sustainability of Zespri. "Their exceptional proficiency in identifying disruptive technologies, data science, and industry insights will help us to make informed decisions on selecting solution providers and partners to elevate innovation throughout our supply chain."

Adding his perspective, Peter McHannigan, Innovation Leader for Orchard Technologies at Zespri, highlighted, "the EarlyBirds' solution is a quick and easy way to find global technologies to support your R&D programmes – in our case this included solutions for crop estimation, worker efficiency and automation, and on-orchard decision support. While the EarlyBirds’ solution returned a lot of technologies that we were aware of, it also helped us find and assess new opportunities for investment with our newly launched ZAG Innovation fund."

Furthermore, Jeff Penrose, Cofounder and COO of EarlyBirds, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, "Collaborating with Zespri is a testament to our commitment to driving impactful change. Our OSINT capabilities and innovation frameworks are tailor-made to support Zespri in the areas of sustainability and innovation. This engagement represents a powerful convergence of expertise that will drive positive transformation in the kiwifruit industry."

Kris Poria, Cofounder and CEO of EarlyBirds, echoed the sentiment, saying, "EarlyBirds is dedicated to accelerating the adoption of transformative technologies that shape the future. Our collaboration with Zespri seamlessly aligns with our mission for sustainability. Leveraging our OSINT capabilities, innovation frameworks, and data expertise, we aim to usher Zespri into a new era of carbon reduction and sustainability."

In unison, EarlyBirds and Zespri are working to support a sustainability-focused evolution in the kiwifruit industry.


About EarlyBirds:

EarlyBirds is a pioneering innovation intelligence platform adept at identifying and accessing transformative technologies through Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) and Open Innovation. Their unique capabilities empower organizations to strategically engage with industry innovations, enhancing competitiveness and accelerating growth via its platform and supporting frameworks the Challenger and the Explorer programs. The Challenger program assists customers to identify options based on their business and technical challenges and the Explorer program provides ongoing innovation as a service.


About Zespri:

Zespri is 100 percent owned by current and former kiwifruit growers and has a global team of 850 based in Mount Maunganui and throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas. Our purpose is to help people, communities and the environment thrive through the goodness of kiwifruit, and we work with 2,800 growers in New Zealand and 1,500 growers offshore to provide consumers with fresh, healthy and great-tasting Zespri Green, RubyRed™ and SunGold Kiwifruit. In 2022/23, we supplied 183.5 million trays of kiwifruit to consumers in more than 50 markets, and recorded global operating revenue of NZ$4.22 billion. Zespri is committed to sustainability, with areas of improvement identified right through the supply chain including our pledge that by 2025 we will use 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging, do more to help the environment, and work with our partners to be carbon positive by 2035