'Fresh Facts' shows export growth for New Zealand horticulture

29 April 2016

New Zealand’s horticulture sector remains a stand out success within the primary industries with strong growth according to the latest edition of ‘Fresh Facts’ — the annual facts and figure booklet for horticulture data published by Plant & Food Research and Horticulture New Zealand.

Horticultural exports (including wine) increased 9.5% in 2015 to a record $4.3 billion, with productivity, new cultivars, strong branding and marketing all helping New Zealand’s fresh produce capture premiums in world markets. A growing understanding of global consumers is also adding value to exports, with new cultivars and wine styles capitalising on international market trends.

2015 marked a major milestone in the kiwifruit industry’s fight against Psa disease, with exports back to pre-Psa values, increasing by $251 million to $1.2 billion; with strong future growth also forecast.

After surpassing $500 million for the first time last year, apple exports continued to grow, up $25 million to $562 million in 2015, and confident of achieving their export target of $1 billion by 2020.

New Zealand’s Cherry growers also had a record season, with Asian markets including Taiwan, China and South Korea experiencing record sales. Exports rose from $28.0 million in 2013/14, to $52.2 million in 2014/15 on top of record domestic sales, with New Zealander’s consuming a whopping 1,775 tonnes of cherries.

“New Zealand’s horticultural industries have overcome some challenges in recent years, the most notable of these is the kiwifruit bacterial disease Psa” says Plant & Food Research COO Dr Bruce Campbell.

“It’s very pleasing to see the strong growth in Kiwifruit exports shown in the data, but also great to see strong growth coming from sectors like Cherries and Avocados.

“New Zealand’s success as a fresh produce exporter continues to be the result of hard work and clever thinking. Our growers are smart and industrious, and our science and innovation is world leading.

“It’s important we continue to develop our understanding about consumer preferences in our key global markets. There are opportunities to further enhance the premium price that New Zealand produce earns around the world, but only by delivering to consumers exactly what they want.”

‘Fresh Facts’ has been published annually since 1999. To view the latest issue, as well as all previous issues, visit FreshFacts.co.nz


Key Facts

The value of New Zealand’s horticultural outputs exceeded $7.5 billion for the first time, with export sales of $4.27 billion and the value of domestic horticultural products calculated to exceed $3.24 billion.

Key increases came in kiwifruit (+$251m/+27%), wine (+$85m/+6%), apples (+$25m/+5%), cherries (+$24m/+87%), and avocados (+$22m/+22%). 

Export performance 2015 in New Zealand’s five largest horticultural export market regions (compared with 2014):


  • Asia: $1.434 billion: increased $260m (+22%); apples +$40m, cherries +$23m and squash +$14m. Onion exports down $7m (18%) 
  • Australia: $826m: down $46m (-5%); avocados +$10m, kiwifruit +$8m, blueberries +$6m; wine down $30m.
  • North America: $642m: increased $53m (+9%); wine +$60m, kiwifruit +$12m; apples down $14m
  • Continental Europe $632m: increased $32m; kiwifruit +$44m; wine +$13m; apple down $23m (17%) 
  • United Kingdom & Ireland: $525m: increased $107m (+25%); wine and apples both increased by $36m. 


Download a copy of Fresh Facts 2015

Download a copy of the Fresh Facts Poster

Emma Timewell
Communications Manager, Corporate Communications,
Plant & Food Research Mt Albert,
120 Mt Albert Road, Sandringham
Auckland, 1025, New Zealand
EMail: media@plantandfood.co.nz
Telephone: +64-9-925 8692
Mobile: +64-21-2429 365

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