New Zealand Growers Merge Organizations
New Zealand's fruit, vegetable, potato and berry fruit growers have organized to create Horticulture New Zealand, a powerful new body at the head of the NZ$4.7 billion sector.
Ag Minister Jim Anderton said New Zealanders spend NZ$623 billion a year on fresh vegetables and NZ$100 million a year on processed vegetables.
"The horticulture industry contributes about NZ$4.7 billion a year, including NZ$2.2 billion of export earnings to New zealand's economy.
There are more than 7,000 commercial fruit, berry and vegetable growers, together with 560,000 workers in permanent and seasonal employment, incluidng those in various processing industries.
Inaugural president and kiwifruit grower Andrew Fenton said a united voice for the industry will be a cornerstone of the industry's future expansion.
Fenton said the previously fragmented industry representation tended to mask the significance of horticulture's overall contribution to New Zealand.