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Potatoes now worth one billion dollars to New Zealand economy

Chris Claridge, Potato New Zealand’s CEO, is pleased to see steady growth in potato volumes and values, writes Gemma Carroll, Communications & Engagement Officer at PNZ.

“The latest figures in from 2018 indicate we’re holding our own in exports and the value domestically has gone up. It’s a good report. However we would like to lift our export market.

Chris Claridge

The industry is on target domestically, where we’ve achieved a 37% increase in values from 2013. Our strategic goal is to increase domestic market value 50% by 2025 and this looks achievable.

The export market is not quite where we’d like it to be for our 2025 goals – we’re currently at about half the annual rate of growth for export from where we need to be. The industry 2025 goal was to double exports – the questions at hand are; do we have enough land? And do our processing facilities have the capacity?

The reality is potatoes’ export value can achieve $30-40,000 per hectare, with less environmental footprint than other primary sectors. We need to make it as easy and sustainable as possible for farmers to grow potatoes.

We know our product group is the 3rd highest horticultural export and we need to protect and grow that NZ asset,” according to Claridge.

Read the full report on the PNZ Conference 2019 website here. PNZ will have its Conference on August 13 and 14 in Christchurch – full programme here

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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