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Early Ratification Of EU Free Trade Agreement Would Be Worth Approximately $3m To NZ Onion Industry

Early ratification of the European Union free trade agreement (EU-FTA) would be worth approximately $3 million to the New Zealand export onion industry, Onions NZ confirmed today.

‘This would be great news for New Zealand onion growers, coming in time for the last half of the export season,’ said Onions NZ chief executive, James Kuperus.

‘The EU is New Zealand’s largest export onion market. We estimate that about 35,000 tonnes would be exported to the EU, tariff free, post 1 May. This volume would be worth an extra $3m or so, thanks to the early removal of the 9.6% tariff.’

James said New Zealand onion growers are having a better season this year.

‘Quality is exceptionally good. This season’s onions will keep well and maintain their great taste.

‘However, costs are continuing to increase – especially around labour – and there are obviously sea freight issues, thanks to conflicts and droughts. The industry is working around these challenges but now it has had access to Indonesia re-confirmed, growers are focused on finishing the season on a high.’

The New Zealand onion industry would like to thank government Ministers and officials for their tireless efforts, with the EU and in Indonesia, in particular.

‘It’s great to have the government’s help to open doors, deal with issues and pursue negotiations, most of which take years to conclude,’ said James.

Facts about the New Zealand onion industry

  • 70 commercial growers, growing in Pukekohe, Hawke’s Bay, Canterbury, Manawatu and Nelson
  • Export to 42 countries around the world
  • Export value is approximately $150m
  • Employ 1,050 full time equivalents (FTEs)
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