New Zealand horticulture’s steady growth of nearly three percent to more than $6 billion a year in export earnings1 is thanks to passionate growers, quality produce, and decades of investment, says Horticulture New Zealand.
‘New Zealand’s growers are committed to the long-term future of the industry. Their fruit and vegetables are the envy of the world, particularly with current concerns around health and wellbeing,’ says HortNZ Chief Executive, Mike Chapman.
‘The industry’s steady growth reflects decades of investment in research and development in new varieties and efficient growing techniques. Our growers know their stuff and are committed to doing the best for the environment as well as for the people they employ.
‘Growers are demonstrating their action on the environment and care for employees through industry assurance programmes such as New Zealand Good Agricultural Practice (NZGAP) and Global GAP.
‘However, growers are under pressure. They are concerned that central and local government policy makers do not understand the realities of growing fruit and vegetables, and could make decisions that reverse the industry’s growth.
‘Added to this situation is the uncertainty that COVID-19 has created and the worldwide impact it is having.
‘While I am sure export demand for New Zealand fruit and vegetables will continue to grow, other factors like our ability to get produce to market could play a part in how the rest of the year for the horticulture sector unfolds,’ says Mike.
1Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries, March 2020, released on 12 March 2020. ‘Horticulture continues to be one of the star performers, with export revenue expected to rise by 2.9% in the year ended 30 June 2020, hitting $6.3 billion.’