Deloitte report shows need to protect Pukekohe food hub

A report released at a function at Parliament last week – AgScience missed it at the time – warns of a the hefty economic impact on Auckland if the value of fruit and vegetable production in Pukekohe isn’t recognised in land-use policies.

Horticulture New Zealand commissioned Deloitte to report on the significant contribution Pukekohe’s horticulture industry makes to the health and wealth of New Zealand, and in particular its largest city, Auckland.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor seemed to be aware of the issue.   He said:

“New Zealand’s soils are a precious resource, not just for our growers but for every Kiwi who likes to eat their greens. I support efforts to ensure we protect our elite, food-producing soils so our growers can continue to feed us with healthy, natural produce.  “

Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman said the Labour-led Government had shown a willingness to collaborate with horticulture, and this report was part of the evidence-base his organisation would bring to the table as it works on finding the answers to the questions it posed.

Deloitte has made six recommendations in the report.  Horticulture New Zealand agrees with all of them.

Mr Chapman said:

“If decision-makers don’t have a clear view of the value of the Pukekohe food hub, we run the risk of an economic hit to Auckland of up to $1.1 billion in 25 years, with the loss of up to 4,500 fulltime jobs, less fruit and vegetables available, and prices up to 58 percent higher. During that time Auckland will also be hungrier, with population set to rise to 2.3 million.

“It is essential that we have a holistic view of our food supply chain to ensure informed decision-making around critical areas such as land use and water allocation. To meet environmental and health imperatives, as well as consumer expectations, it makes sense to protect growing hubs close to our main population centres. They not only provide food that contributes to the physical health of New Zealanders, but also jobs, and vibrant businesses and communities.

“Food and housing are competing for land and water. We need both, so now is a good time to be smart about long-term planning for food security and domestic supply. We will not always be able to source food from other countries – look at the extremely hot summer the northern part of the world is having and the impact it is having on food production because of drought.”

Deloitte Partner and Agribusiness Lead Andrew Gibbs said the challenges to ensuring the Pukekohe hub remains a bulwark of New Zealand’s food supply are not small.

“We believe success requires central and local government to work together with the industry to best protect and enhance this natural asset, and sustainable business models.

“We hope our New Zealand Food Story report provides valuable insights into the health of a strategic growing region and furthers the conversation on the country’s need for an agreed food security plan.”

The full report is available here and a summary of the report is available here.

Questions and answers on the report are available here.

Source:  Horticulture  New Zealand

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Plant & Food data show the value of NZ horticulture climbs to $8.8 billion

New Zealand horticulture had another record-breaking year in 2017, when it was valued at $8.8 billion, up $100 million from 2016, and exported produce valued close to $5.12 billion, up $14 million.

According to the latest Fresh Facts, an industry annual published by Plant & Food Research, horticultural produce accounted for 10.3% of New Zealand’s merchandise export income in the year to June 2017.

The growth was driven by increases in the export values of fresh and processed fruit (excluding wine), from $2.78 billion to $2.82 billion, and fresh and processed vegetables, from $0.61 billion to 0.62 billion.

Kiwifruit continued to be the nation’s top horticultural export at $1.66 billion, accounting for 33% of the total export value. It was followed by wine at $1.54 billion, 30% of the total export value.

New Zealand horticultural produce was exported to 128 countries, with five markets—Australia, Continental Europe, the USA, Japan and China—taking up more than two-thirds of the total exports. Exports to Asia reached $1.95 billion, twice as much as any other continent/region.

“The success of New Zealand horticulture is built on its well-earned reputation of delivering high quality and premium products to the overseas markets,” says David Hughes, chief executive of Plant & Food Research.

“The horticultural industry must keep up the quality and innovate to offer new products that meet international market needs in order to secure our position.

“Adopting new technologies and best practices to minimise environmental and social impact of the production process will further strengthen our clean, green image in the global marketplace.”

Mike Chapman, Chief Executive of Horticulture New Zealand, said his organisation is confident the industry will meet the $10 billion by 2020 target “as long as we  are  committed to listening to local and overseas consumers and offering products they want and desire.”

To view the latest issue of Fresh Facts and all previous issues, visit www.FreshFacts.co.nz

Key facts 

  • Produce from the New Zealand horticultural sector exceeded $8.8 billion in the year to 30 June 2017.
  • The total value of horticultural exports was $5.12 billion in 2017, an increase of 91% ($2.7 billion) from 2007.
  • New Zealand’s biggest horticultural export was kiwifruit, worth $1.66 billion. Other key exports were wine ($1.54 billion), apples ($691 million), and avocado ($147.5 million).
  • Avocado export demonstrated significant growth from $82 million in 2016 to $147 million in 2017, likely in part to the biennial nature of avocado production. In 2015 avocado export was valued at $115 million.
  • Exports to five markets: Australia, Continental Europe, the USA, Japan and China accounted for almost $3.5 billion and 67.7% of the total exports.
  • The diversity of horticultural exports is apparent in the 22 categories exported to Asia, each between $5 million and over $1 billion, and 13 categories to Australia, each between $7 million and over $440 million (fob) value.
  • More than $200 million worth of natural honey was exported to Asia and Australia.
  • Source: Plant & Food Research