Report: Huge growth forecasts for kiwifruit industry
29 June 2017
A report from the University of Waikato on New Zealand's kiwifruit industry has found it will generate 29,000 new jobs and inject $6.14 billion a year into our GDP by 2030 - and much of that growth is being driven by new cultivars such as Gold 3.
The report, commissioned by Zespri international, was authored by Dr Frank Scrimgeour, a professor of economics at the University of Waikato's Management School.
The report finds the kiwifruit industry will generate a 135% boost in regional GDP in both the Bay of Plenty and Northland regions, between 2016 and 2030. Bay of Plenty's kiwifruit GDP will rise from $867 million to $2.04 billion, while Northland's will rise from $30.6 million to $72 million.
Professor Scrimgeour says the report quantifies the contribution the kiwifruit industry makes to our economy.
"The regional growth projections are very strong: in Bay of Plenty, kiwifruit accounts for 10,762 full-time equivalent jobs now and an additional 14,329 jobs by 2030."
He said Northland is set to increase by 506 jobs over the same period.
"It was encouraging to see Māori are also set to benefit from kiwifruit's growth, with grower revenue set to increase from $271 million to $638 million per year by 2030.
Professor Scrimgeour says there has been a significant taxpayer and industry contribution to research funding and this report justifies that investment.
"Having looked at many evaluations of research expenditure ... it's hard to see where the value is and sometimes even though you have an inkling that something is good it's hard to provide the evidence.
"But in this case I think there's pretty transparent evidence that this has been a good investment by the Crown."
The Ministry for Primary Industries has forecast that kiwifruit exports will surge to $2.1 billion in 2016, largely due to the increasing popularity of gold kiwifruit. Exports of green kiwifruit are expected to fall to $810 million by 2021.
"New varieties have proven critical to the economic viability of the industry and its ongoing contributions to the economy," the report says. "For instance, if Gold 3 had not been available and rolled out following PSA and there had been no replacement available, it is estimated the industry in 2030 would have been approximately 46% of our projections for 2030."
"The availability of Gold 3 led to less exits from the industry, and fewer personal, community and social crises. Gold 3 provided a platform for sustained regional employment."