Horticulture New Zealand says the horticulture industry’s future focused strategies align well with what is proposed in Fit for a Better World.
‘Horticulture is already well into the journey that has been identified and proposed in these reports, and this journey will continue,’ says HortNZ President, Barry O’Neil.
‘Immediately post lockdown, our entire industry – comprising more than 20 different fruit and vegetable product groups – got together with key government departments to develop and implement a strategy and work programme that will see horticulture spearhead New Zealand’s economic and social recovery from Covid.
‘We are encouraged to see that the proposal identifies a key opportunity to accelerate the horticulture industry’s development, which fits perfectly with our own work.
‘That said, we realise that growers and horticulture’s governance groups have not been part of the Primary Sector Council’s work on developing Fit for a Better World. As a result, over the next few months, we will be discussing with them the approach to implementation the horticulture industry can jointly take with government.’
Barry says HortNZ expects that domestic and worldwide demand for New Zealand-grown fruit and vegetables will increase both medium and long-term, as people place more value on sustainably produced, fresh and healthy food that is safe.
‘Our fruit and vegetables are grown to the highest standards in one of best growing areas in the world. New Zealand’s horticulture industry provides domestic and export consumers with the very best in healthy food.
‘These factors provide New Zealand horticulture with a distinct competitive advantage, which is due to growers’ focus and investment over several decades.
‘But we must continue to ensure we are positioning ourselves for future success, which is exactly what Fit for a better World challenges us to do.’
The New Zealand horticulture industry is now worth more than $6.39 billion a year and employs approximately 60,000 people.
Click here to read the report.