New Zealand is set to export a record volume of apples and pears in 2019, with shipments totalling nearly 400,000 tons. The rise is largely thanks to improved conditions in the country’s free trade agreement (FTA) with China, which allow faster border release of perishable products. Besides speeding up the process, it will also significantly cut compliance costs for New Zealand’s exports. Speaking on Radio NZ, Alan Pollard, chief executive of NZ Apples & Pears, said, “Over half of our exports have gone to Asia, with China becoming our second largest market.” In 2013, New Zealand’s apple and pear industry set a target of reaching NZ$1bn exports by 2022.
“The government’s success in achieving very good trade and market access outcomes gives industry confidence to continue to invest in new plantings and new technologies to ensure that we can take advantage of these opportunities as they open up,” said Pollard.