Technical teams supporting global growth areas

In a $400 million jump, the New Zealand horticulture industry was valued at $9.2 billion in the year ending 30th June 2018, with 60 percent of that from exports ($5.5 billion).

The annual Fresh Facts research released by Plant and Research New Zealand shows that horticultural exports remain steady at about 10% of New Zealand’s total merchandise exports.

The main drivers of export revenue success continue to be:

  1. Kiwifruit (34 percent) at $1.86 billion, up from $1.66b in 2017
  2. Wine (31 percent) at $1.69 billion, up from $1.54b in 2017
  3. Apples at $732.9 million, up from $691m in 2017

This international demand correlates with what Farmlands’ General Manager Horticulture, Mark Daniels, has observed in the regions in the three years since he stepped into the role.

“While we continue to support shareholders in many horticultural sectors, our key focus areas are these three significant crops. We have been channelling more expertise and product into supporting these sectors as they continue to grow each year. While it’s no surprise that kiwifruit, wine and apples continue to be the top performers globally, this research is a useful benchmark for us internally too.

“It validates that our business is on the right track. Namely, Farmlands’ technical support has grown threefold in the last 2 years thanks to the appointment of three specialist Technical Leaders across these three main horticulture sectors,” he explains.

“This on-the-ground expertise has received positive feedback from shareholders. We’ve been able to gauge this at shareholder events such as the field days at our Innovation Vineyard in Blenheim last season.” This vineyard is a collaboration between Farmlands and the Marlborough Grape Growers Co-operative.

Top export markets
Exports to Asia increased significantly in the 12 months in view – $912 million to $2.07 billion. Of the 128 countries that receive Kiwi horticultural produce, the top five markets are Continental Europe, Australia, USA, China and Japan. Together, they account for more than two thirds of the total exports.

Kiwi sales kick on
The success of the Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruit has been outstanding in key export markets, now accounting for 40 percent of kiwifruit crop being sent overseas.

“On a recent trip to Bay of Plenty I visited large scale developments of SunGold Kiwifruit being undertaken by shareholders, including farms being converted from dairy. We’re talking hundreds of hectares, millions of dollars in development – it’s exciting,” Mark observes.

Zespri’s 2018/19 operating results tell a more recent yet similar story. They sold a total of 167.2 million trays of kiwifruit in that period, a 21 percent increase on the 138.6 million trays sold in the previous season. Revenue generated by global kiwifruit sales and SunGold licence release increased by 26 percent to $3.14 billion.

For further information about Farmlands Horticulture, please contact us on 0800 200 600. Other research findings are at