7 Aug 2015

Pipfruit industry continues to ripen

1:16 pm on 7 August 2015

The boom behind the apple industry's growth in recent years is being put down to new export markets and varieties.

Apple trees in orchard.

Photo: 123rf

Apple exports were worth more than $530 million in 2014, and the industry has a goal to reach $1 billion by 2022.

Ministry for Primary Industries chief assurance strategy officer Bill Jolly told the pipfruit industry conference in Wellington the industry's growth was finally looking rosy.

"For ten years, we sort of stuck around that $320-360m mark, and then suddenly we got a real jump in 2012, and you guys have been going great guns ever since. The growth in this industry has been absolutely spectacular."

Dr Jolly said export markets had shifted from several dominant ones to a large number of more dynamic markets.

But he said that also created challenges.

"The new markets have different emphasis on what they require.

"The developing economies are also developing new regulations and technical capabilities.

"It requires new relationships and new approaches. There's a change in emphasis from the pesticide residue control and private standard requirements of Europe, to more phytosanitary dominated concerns of Asia and there's an inherent conflict between those two."

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