Certainly, this is set to increase further as the population expands and consumer preferences change. However, there are significant challenges that could stand in the way of increasing production to meet this growing appetite.
But New Zealand faces opportunities with a growing population and the need to grow fresh produce. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Auckland, and its surrounding rural land. The population is set to rise to 2.3 million by 2043, straining natural resources and infrastructure. And growers are feeling that pressure.
The Pukekohe growing hub straddles the Auckland and Waikato District boundaries, and it is key to sustaining the fresh food supply to the country’s largest city. The squeeze on prime growing land in the Pukekohe hub, access to water, and the tensions between the existing industry and new neighbourhoods all mean a more considered and concerted approach to planning is needed.
That is why Horticulture New Zealand commissioned an economic analysis. This suggests that over the next 25 years, the Pukekohe hub could face constrained horticulture production. In undertaking the research for this report, a range of growers, retailers and distributors were able to provide valuable views on the importance of the Pukekohe growing hub.