25 Nov 2013

Onion growers eye boost to Asian exports

12:35 pm on 25 November 2013

The first export onions of the new season are about to be shipped to the Pacific Islands.

But the industry body for onion growers wants to start sending New Zealand onions to new markets much further afield.

Onions New Zealand is asking its growers to back a new growth strategy that would see the industry - which last season earned $90 million in export receipts - try and break into new markets.

Onions NZ chairman Michael Ahern says onions are already a strong export performer - but the industry thinks it can do even better.

Mr Ahern says the costs of compliance, the concentration of buyer power in Europe and Britain, and the cost of getting product there, are eating into the profitability from that region.

He says the industry is now looking to break into new markets in Asia, and it's hoping to get some Government assistance to deal with the phyto-sanitary access issues.

Mr Ahern says the industry is particularly interested in getting access to China, South Korea, the Phillipines and India.