Earnings from New Zealand's horticultural industries exceed $6 billion

Tuesday 8 June 2010, 2:04PM

By Plant & Food Research


$450 million leap in exports helps set new record

Auckland, New Zealand, 8 June 2010 – New Zealand's horticulture industry has continued to grow, recording its highest ever annual returns last year. New figures show fruit, vegetables, wine and flowers were worth more than $6 billion 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 $3.4b (free-on-board value), up from $2.94b in 2008, and nearly doubling those of a decade ago, when in 1999 NZ horticultural exports were $1.74 billion.

Two crops clearly stand out over the past ten years; kiwifruit exports have increased from less than half a billion ($478m) in 1999 to over one billion ($1.07bn); and wine exports have increased from $126m in 1999 to close to $1 billion ($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 $1.58b (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.”

New Zealand Horticulture – Key Figures
(All figures are for the year ended 30 June 2009)

• $6.0 billion in combined total value of exports and domestic spend
• $3.4 billion in exports (fob)
• $1.7 billion from fresh and processed fruit exports, excluding wine
• $563 million from fresh and processed vegetable exports
• $457m increase in horticultural exports from 2008 to 2009
• Exports reach 122 countries worldwide
• Exports to 52 countries exceeded $1m in 2009; 26 exceeded $10m.
• Total crop area 121,985 hectares
• On-farm investment approaching $16 billion
• Off-farm investment estimated to exceed $29 billion
New Zealanders spend over $2.2 billion each year on fruit, vegetables and wine, with:
• $510m of fresh and chilled fruit
• $120m on processed fruit
• $730m on fresh and chilled vegetables
• $190m on processed vegetables
• $670m on wine

A full PDF of Fresh Facts is available on the Plant & Food Research website at

Mike Shaw
Communications Advisor

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