Age hasn't been a barrier for young vegetable grower of the year Austin Singh Purewal.
According to Fresh Facts, the annual publication outlining New Zealand's horticultural facts and figures, horticultural exports in the year to June 30, 2011 totaled $3.46 billion, an increase of 3% on the previous year. Produce from New Zealand's horticultural industries is now calculated to be worth a total $6.4 billion annually.
"Horticultural exports have been steadily increasing since the 1970s, and are now worth more than $3 billion," says Peter Landon-Lane, CEO of Plant & Food Research. "New Zealand is known globally as a supplier of premium horticultural products. Our wine sector has had huge success in growing the popularity of Sauvignon blanc, due to its unique flavours.
"Similarly, our fruit sector is known for introducing novel products with great taste profiles. Added to this, our production systems are known to exceed sustainability and phytosanitary requirements. This innovation and diversification has allowed us to create and maintain a premium in the global marketplace."
Fresh Facts has been produced annually since 1999 by Plant & Food Research with support from Horticulture New Zealand. Copies of the publication can be found at www.freshfacts.co.nz.
• New Zealand's horticultural exports are valued at $3.5 billion, 7.5% of total exports
• The value of horticultural exports has doubled since 2000
• Wine is New Zealand's largest horticultural export, valued at $1.1 billion
• Fresh fruit exports are valued at $1.5 billion, including close to $1 billion of kiwifruit
• Vegetable exports are valued at $614 million - $270 million of fresh vegetables (primarily onions and squash) and $344 million of processed vegetables (mostly potatoes, peas and sweetcorn)
• Australia is the largest export destination, receiving $756 million of New Zealand's horticultural produce, close to 5 times the produce received in 2000. Other key destinations include Japan, the UK, the USA and Europe.