New figures show fruit, vegetables, wine and flowers were worth more than $6bn exports and domestic spend in the year to 30 June 2009, up around $470m on 2008.
‘Fresh Facts in New Zealand Horticulture – 2009’, published by Plant & Food Research and industry analysts Martech Consulting, found export returns for the year to June 2009 topped $3.4bn (free-on-board value), up from $2.94bn in 2008, and nearly doubling those of a decade ago, when in 1999 NZ horticultural exports were $1.74bn.
Two crops clearly stand out over the past 10 years: kiwifruit exports have increased from less than half a billion ($478m) in 1999 to over one billionn ($1.07bn); and wine exports have increased from $126m in 1999 to close to $1bn ($985m). The past year alone has seen kiwifruit and wine exports increased by 23.1% and 24.0% respectively.
Fresh fruit remains New Zealand’s largest horticultural export sector, with revenues of $1.58bn (up 18.2% on 2008), mostly from kiwifruit ($1.07b) and apples ($396m).
Fresh vegetable exports fell slightly against 2008, primarily due to the reduction in fresh onion exports following the big increase experienced the previous year. Processed vegetables increased by $19.3m (6.1%) overall in 2009, with frozen potato exports up $17.3m (27.2%) and dried vegetables up $16.0m (37.5%) offsetting decreases in other processed vegetables.
Plant & food research chief operating officer, Dr Bruce Campbell says the gains seen over recent years have been due to the skills and dedication of many people and the systems and technological improvements in almost every facet of New Zealand’s horticulture industry.
“New varieties of fruit, vegetables and flowers, as well as improvements in sustainable production systems, harvesting methods, handling, packaging, storage and transport technologies, and export marketing have all added value to the industry,” says Campbell.
Source: Martech Consulting
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