9 May 2012

Horticulture export earnings increase

6:08 am on 9 May 2012

Horticulture export earnings have continued to grow, despite the exchange rate and difficult market conditions.

The latest industry handbook Fresh Facts shows the value of exports, including fresh and processed fruit and vegetables, wine and flowers, increased to $3.3 billion last year, a rise of 3%.

The New Zealand dollar rose by 6.5% during the same time.

Horticulture New Zealand says the lift in exports is worth $100 million to New Zealand.

Chief executive Peter Silcock says a key reason has been the shift in sales to Asia and Australia, New Zealand's biggest horticulture market.

Exports of processed vegetable products have grown 9% and returns from processed fruit exports have risen 4.5%.

Fresh Facts, which is produced by Plant & Food Research, says the value of horticultural exports has doubled since 2000.

Fresh fruit exports led by kiwifruit, are valued at $1.5 billion and wine at more than $1 billion.