NZ’s agriculture, horticulture and fisheries industry is focused on producing high quality products for use in the sector.
Agriculture, Horticulture and Fisheries in New Zealand
NZ is a worldwide leader in the agriculture, horticulture and fisheries sector producing product.
NZ companies produce innovative products that are exported worldwide with market leaders
being Gallaghers, Zespri, LIC, Tru-Test, Ag Research, and Milfos.
NZ’s agriculture, horticulture and fisheries industry is focused on producing high quality
products for use in the sector. NZ is highly regarded for the production of dairy and meat
products with this coming from the innovations made in biotechnology, genetics, and farm
machinery. The NZ agriculture exports from NZ are worth over $15 billion per annum. This is an
example of the income size for the agriculture, horticulture and fisheries companies.
The New Zealand agricultural industry is New Zealand’s largest contributor to the economy,
generating 64% of New Zealand’s merchandise export earnings and around 12% of GDP. New
Zealand is the world’s largest dairy and sheep meat exporter with products being sent to Asia,
USA, and Europe. Export revenues of the dairy sector were NZ$13.2 billion in 2011.
New Zealand has over 12,700 commercial sheep and beef farms, 6,765 in the North Island and
5,935 in the South Island. The farms are a mixture of high country, hill country, intensive
farming, and finishing farms, depending on the landscape of the farm location.
The New Zealand agricultural industry is free of government incentives or subsidies which has
allowed it to grow substantially since the 1980’s. Fonterra is New Zealand’s largest dairy
producing company, producing a large proportion of New Zealand’s milk and dairy solids. The
company is owned by farmers, giving the company supply and an area of focus for its
Gallaghers is a major NZ farming supplier, being the inventor of the electric farm fence. The
company has operations globally with revenue of $200 million in 2010.
AgResearch and LIC have been at the forefront of genetics in NZ. This has helped the
development of the dairy industry considerably in its ability to produce livestock with higher
disease resilience and pastures to assist with milk production. AgResearch have applied science
across a number of products in the agriculture and horticulture sector including, animals, crops,
Plant and Equipment suppliers such as Milfos, Waikato Milking Systems, PGC Wrightsons,
RD1, Goldpine, CRT, Giltrap, and Power Farming provide direct products to NZ agriculture and
horticulture farmers. Products are mainly distributed by the farm supply companies with these
including tractors, fertilisers, fence posts, and clothing.
The New Zealand horticulture industry exports over NZ$3.3billion worth of product each year
with it being New Zealand’s 6th largest export industry. The area of horticulture crops has
increased by 40% to 121,000 ha in the last 10 years. New Zealand’s main sectors of expertise in
the horticulture industry are wine, kiwifruit, apple and pears, and fresh and processed vegetables.
The country is a high innovator in terms of technology and products with Zespri Gold and
Pacific and Jazz apples being developed for specific overseas markets and consumer needs. New
Zealand has a clean, green environment, diverse geography and climate, excellent soil quality
and is mostly free from pests and diseases. The country has a good monitoring and traceability
systems in the horticulture, agriculture, and fisheries sectors allowing for this to be a major value
addition to most products. New Zealand is a leader in traceability of fresh produce exported from
the country as well as snap freeze technology allowing for exports to keep their nutritional values
and flavour right to market. Plant and Food Research along with the New Zealand Avocado
Industry Council invested in dynamic controlled atmosphere technology to prevent fruit from
ripening in transit. This is an example of industry ingenuity to keep New Zealand products fresh
right to market.
The total investment in the New Zealand horticulture industry is valued at NZ$38 billion in 2011
with this set to increase as the industry expands in the future.
The fisheries industry in NZ is dominated by Sealord and Sanford who operate commercial
fishing and aquaculture operations. Both companies have fishing, aquaculture, and processing
operations. The commercial fishing industry is worth $1.5 billion to NZ per annum with over
600,000 tonnes of product being harvested per annum.
There are 130 commercially fished species of fish in New Zealand with 45 being key
commercial species to the industry. The total seafood export from New Zealand in 2009 was
NZ$1.42 billion with aquaculture exports being NZ$279 million. There are strict commercial
quotas in New Zealand set by the Ministry for Primary Industries and local Maori. Commercial
fishing companies must be registered. There are 1,556 quota holders and 1,278 commercial
fishing boats in New Zealand.
New Zealand does have a large recreational fishing participation with 19.5% of the population
taking part. It is estimated that 25,000 tonnes of seafood and fish are collected by recreational
fishes each year. This shows that there is a market opportunity in terms of recreational fishing
equipment and boating craft
ξ NZ is a large exporter of agriculture, horticulture and fisheries end products to the world.
NZ prides itself on having the best end product that can be produced. For this to be
possible the industry must use the best tools and genetics possible. There is a major
opportunity for UK companies to supply NZ farmers, biotechnology and production
companies with quality products to assist the growth of the industry.
ξ AgResearch, LIC and Gallaghers are all large companies that have extensive research and
development facilities that are used for the development of the agriculture, horticulture,
and fisheries industry. Opportunities exist for UK companies to collaborate with
AgResearch, LIC and Gallaghers in developing new innovations for the sector.
ξ Most NZ agricultural retailers have sole agreements with major farming brands. A UKTI
OMIS can identify the companies that would be best suited for specific UK products and
how to go about such agreements in market
Latest export opportunities - Agriculture, Horticulture & Fisheries
Latest export opportunities - New Zealand
Getting into the market
There is a large emphasis on efficiency and emissions in the industry. An Emissions Trading
Scheme is being implemented into the agriculture industry which may provide an area for
companies to provide services and efficiencies in the market
There are a number of standards for agriculture operators in New Zealand. These are in particular
focused on safety of operations in particular with large machinery such as tractors. These are
implemented by Standards NZ and are enforced by the Department of Labour and Occupational
Health and Safety
Eco-farming and organic produce is becoming a larger market in NZ and export market for
farmers. Growth is particularly strong for compliance of farms and products that assist farmers
such as organic fertilisers and sprays. The trend in adoption of organic farming has been strong
in horticulture for a number of years. Organic dairy and meat production has increased in the last
5 years in NZ.
Most NZ agricultural retailers have sole agreements with major farming brands. A UKTI OMIS
can identify the companies that would be best suited for specific UK products and how to go
about such agreements in market
More about doing business in New Zealand
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke
market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market
Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists
in country - or contact your local international trade team.
Paul Tuckley, British Consulate-General Auckland. Tel: +64 (0) 9 303 5017 or email:
Hamish Jenkin, British Consulate-General Auckland. Tel: +64 (0) 9 303 5014 or email:
Contact your local international trade team
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to
overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
Latest events –Agriculture, Horticulture and Fisheries
New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays
Date: 12-15 June 2013
Website address: www.fieldays.co.nz
Date: 2-6 September 2012
Website address: www.abic2012.com
More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters