New Zealand onion growers celebrate multimillion-dollar export success in Indonesia

12 Apr 2020

New Zealand onion growers are celebrating being able to export their world class crop to Indonesia again. 

‘Indonesia has just re-opened its market to New Zealand onions after some clarification was required for the new import rules,’ says Onions New Zealand Chief Executive, James Kuperus. 

‘This follows months of negotiations, but with the support of key figures such as Director General Horticulture, Indonesia, Prihasto Setyanto and the Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand, Tantowi Yahya, the regulations have been clarified and exports have resumed.’   

Onions are the main horticulture crop exported to Indonesia, returning NZ$28 million to regional New Zealand in 2019.  In total, our country’s onion exports rose to NZ$172 million in 2019, up by NZ$83 million on 2018. 

Trade between Indonesia and New Zealand is equal, with exports/imports worth NZ$1.1 billion to each economy. 

Apatu Farms Joint Managing Director, Paul Apatu says Onions New Zealand has been very proactive, working directly with Indonesian government officials, and various receivers in the Indonesian supply chain. 

‘The strategy is to grow the Indonesian market, along with other markets across the world.  We’re pretty confident that long-term, international demand for New Zealand onions will grow. 

‘We were pretty nervous that there might be some international supply chain disruptions as a result of COVID-19, but reports are that things are currently going pretty well. 

‘On a global basis, demand for onions is high and we’ve seen export markets making decisions to secure supplies, long-term. 

‘Onion growers are doing a great job giving the world a really high quality, healthy and great tasting product,’ says Paul.   

The whole of New Zealand’s horticulture industry is now worth more than $6 billion to the country’s economy.