Kiwifruit industry to create 29,000 jobs by 2030

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NZN

The kiwifruit industry will generate 29,000 new jobs and add an annual $3.5 billion to New Zealand's gross domestic product by 2030, according to a Waikato University report for Zespri International.

Zespri is celebrating 20 years in the fruit trade, but is aiming to stay competitive by expanding what it grows.

Source: 1 NEWS

Much of the growth will be driven by new cultivars such as Gold 3, the report says.

The nation's statutory kiwifruit exporter commissioned the report to look at the economic contribution of the industry to the Bay of Plenty, Northland and New Zealand as a whole.

The report finds that both the Bay of Plenty, which has the lion's share of the industry, and Northland will enjoy a similar impetus to regional GDP - 135 per cent between 2016 and 2030, with the contribution to Bay of Plenty GDP rising to $2.04b from $867 million and Northland's to $72m from $30.6m.

The report is based on Zespri production forecasts by variety out to 2030 and uses a '106-sector economic model' developed by Professor Warren Hughes to assess the input and output gains across the whole economy.

While it was completed in January it is being released after the publication this month of the latest Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries report from the Ministry for Primary Industries, which forecast out to 2021 and had the value of kiwifruit exports surging to $2.1b from $1.5b in 2016.

That forecast growth is almost entirely based on gold kiwifruit, with exports jumping to $1.3b from $524m, while exports of green fruit actually fall by 2021 to $810m from $917m.

The Waikato University study estimates annual growth in production of kiwifruit over the 14 years to 2030 of 5.4 per cent for the entire crop.

"New varieties have proven critical to the economic viability of the industry and its ongoing contributions to the economy," the report says.

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