[16 May/Rural News]

The New Zealand horticulture industry had a record breaking year in 2017 with exports reaching $5.12 billion. The industry value was up $100 million from last year at $8.8 billion. According to Plant and Food Research horticulture produce accounted for 10.3 percent of New Zealand’s export income. The growth was primarily driven by increases in export values of fresh and processed fruit and vegetables. Kiwifruit was the largest horticultural export at $1.66 billion. New Zealand horticultural produce was exported to 128 countries. Plant and Food Research Chief Executive, David Hughes, said the success was built on New Zealand’s reputation of delivering high quality and premium products. He added the industry needed to keep up the quality and innovate to offer new products to meet international needs. Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive, Mike Chapman, noted the continual growth of the horticultural industry was a result of the quality of our produce and the work of our growers.