HortNZ chair Barry O’Neill is impressed with the way the horticulture sector has worked collectively and positively on all the issues it has faced.
Raine told Rural News, at the recent HortNZ conference, he believes dairy is reaching its peak in this country and the tolerance for dairy and sustainability of the sector is being called into question.
Raine says horticulture will get past dairy as an industry because it is seen as sustainable, moving with the times and as delivering innovative, safe and reliable food to many overseas customers.
“Horticulture’s day has come; there are now a lot of success stories in horticulture. We’ve been quietly working our way up while the limelight has been on dairy.
“Horticulture is getting win after win after win. We have been concentrating on new markets, in particular in Asia – not just China, but right across Asia from Japan around through to India.”
Raine says horticulture has ridden well on the back of free trade agreements and reduced tariffs that make a huge difference to the industry. A focus on telling the horticulture story is paying off.
“Our story resonates in the market with consumers: we are seen as safe and producing the high quality food consumers are looking for.” – Peter Burke