Spuds are No. 1 processed export, as NZ shipments reach new heights

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07 July 2021
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Spuds are No. 1 processed export, as NZ shipments reach new heights

POTATOES were the top processed vegetable export from New Zealand in the year ending June 30th, 2020, when the country's horticultural exports reached new heights overall, a new report reveals.

While fresh vegetable exports remained static at $300 million, processed vegetables increased to $424 million and $106.9 million of this was potatoes.

Plant & Food Research and Horticulture New Zealand publishes ‘Fresh Facts’ annually to provide key statistics that cover the whole of New Zealand’s horticulture industries. According to the latest edition, the value of the total New Zealand horticulture industry exceeded $10 billion for the first time in 2020.  

New Zealand horticulture exports weathered the effects of COVID-19 to reach new heights, climbing to a record-breaking $6.6 billion in the year ending 30 June 2020. This is an increase of $450 million from the previous year, and more than 11% of New Zealand’s merchandise exports. 

New Zealand horticultural produce was exported to 128 countries in 2020. The top five markets were Continental Europe, Japan, the USA, Australia and China. Exports to Asia were $2.76 billion, 42% of total NZ horticulture exports.

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David Hughes, CEO, Plant & Food Research, said: “In a year affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand’s horticulture industry has demonstrated resilience and our produce is more in demand than ever. Our reputation for high quality and safe food, combined with excellent growing systems and novel products, is vital in maintaining New Zealand’s share of the global marketplace.”

Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive, Nadine Tunley said it is great that the horticulture industry has continued to grow despite COVID-19. 

“Horticulture has the potential to lead New Zealand’s economic recovery and play an important role in climate change mitigation. However, if horticulture is to reach its true potential, government policies around seasonal labour, highly productive land and freshwater, investment in research and development, and compliance must be supportive.  At the moment, there is a disconnect between what is being said about our industry’s potential and central and local government decisions that affect growers on the ground.”  

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