NZ Apple Industry On Track To Become A Billion-dollar Export Business
New Zealand Apples and Pears Inc (NZAPI), the representative industry body for the apple, pear and nashi industry, held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Hastings today, with members joining from around the country’s growing regions via Zoom.
With NZAPI’s financial year ending 31 March 2020, the published results were for the 2019 growing season and 2019/20 selling season, meaning that they reflect trading conditions pre- COVID-19.
Gross volume for the 2019/20 crop reached 566,200 metric tonnes (mT), similar to the previous year. The proportion of the crop that is exported rose 5 percent to 395,000 mT.
Total export returns for the year were $870m, the highest ever achieved and an increase of $500m in the past eight years. Of significance is that around 85 percent of the $500m increase has been due to value rather than volume, as the industry continues to extract greater value out of each metric tonne sold.
“With export earnings at this level, and despite the impact of COVID-19, with the right regulatory and policy settings in place to support industry confidence and growth, the apple and pear industry is well placed to reach its $1billion target by 2022 and $2billion by 2030,” said NZAPI chief executive Alan Pollard.
Looking to the next year, Mr Pollard says the focus will be on how the pipfruit sector can help New Zealand to rebuild and recover post-Covid.
“NZAPI is playing a crucial role in that recovery strategy, working collaboratively with government and across the horticulture sector to identify opportunities domestically and overseas. This will lead to growth and innovation across horticulture, increased sustainable job opportunities for New Zealanders, and a shot in the arm for provinces at a time when they really need it.”
Around the boardroom table, NZAPI welcomed Peter Landon-Lane as a Board director, taking over from Bruce Beaton who stepped down in November 2019.
Mr Landon-Lane is Technical and Innovation Director with T&G Global Ltd and formerly held roles as CEO of the NZ Institute for Plant and Food Research, Fonterra’s General Manager, Europe and President of Fonterra Japan.
NZAPI’s independent chairman, Richard Punter, said “We are delighted that Peter has joined our Board. He offers a broad range of experience and expertise that will be of huge value to NZAPI and the industry”.
Mr Punter noted that the Board of seven grower directors and one independent director includes knowledge and experience across the supply chain. “This will be important as the organisation and industry seeks to take advantage of the opportunities that a post-COVID 19 world will bring”.
About NZ Apples and Pears Inc (NZAPI)
NZAPI’s objectives are to provide New Zealand growers with technical, economic and market information and resources to enable them to be the world’s best producers, and to represent them internationally to ensure they maintain a competitive advantage in all markets.