New Zealand’s horticulture sector is set to outpace forestry in export revenue by 2025, according to the latest Ministry for Primary Industries’ report.
Export revenue for horticultural products is forecast to reach $8.19 billion by 2025.
Horticulture New Zealand (HortNZ) chief executive Nadine Tunley said horticulture was expected to overtake forestry to become the third largest export earner in the food and fibre sector.
“This is fantastic news for our growers and our rural communities who have shown amazing resilience through some challenging times with 2023 weather events. The report is an upbeat look ahead and a huge vote of confidence in the sector.”
Horticulture export revenue is forecast to decrease 1% to $7.0 billion in the year to June 30, 2024, but recovering crop yields along with strong consumer demand and prices, export revenue is expected to rebound by a significant 17% in 2025.
This year, export revenue for fresh and processed vegetables increased by 18% to a record $737 million due to elevated export prices, which more than offset a large drop in export quantities caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.
Frozen and processed horticulture products mainly contributed to the 2023 export value with onions, nuts, and potatoes reaching their highest export values in decades.
“We want New Zealand to prosper by exporting our world-leading apples, kiwifruit, avocados, onions, cherries and many other products to millions of customers all over the world.
“This report is a boost. We are confident we can double farmgate revenue by 2035 in line with the Aotearoa Horticulture Action Plan. But we need the Government to recognise and understand the importance of horticulture and create and maintain the conditions for our industry to thrive, and in doing so, lift the overall health, wellbeing and economy of New Zealand," Tunley said.
- Sharon Davis