Playing its part to help boost Pacific agricultural exports to New Zealand, Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand launched a Path2Market webinar in April, which recorded over a hundred participants sign up for two engaging days of discussions on market demands, importer requirements, and challenges faced by Pacific Island exporters in the agriculture sector
Over recent months, the list of commodities receiving approval status for market pathway from the Blue Pacific has been on the rise. However, Pacific Island Countries are still not amongst New Zealand’s largest importers of fresh and frozen agricultural goods, with the bulk of New Zealand’s imports of fresh and frozen fruits, vegetables, and root crops being sourced from Southeast Asia, North, South, and Central America, Australia, and other Asian countries. The top three New Zealand imports from the Pacific in 2021 were 6,700 tonnes of root crops, 678 tonnes of coconuts and 312 tonnes of watermelon (Import Stats NZ).
It is true that the total volume of Pacific Islands exports of fresh and frozen produce to New Zealand is only scratching the surface of the demand presented in the New Zealand market. However, as more and more countries around the globe open their borders and return to economic and social recovery, the trade volume to New Zealand will increase albeit over time given logistical and transport challenges still in play today.
Playing its part to help boost Pacific agricultural exports to New Zealand, PTI New Zealand launched its first Path2Market webinar to shed light on the New Zealand import requirements for food and beverage under the country’s Food Act 2014.
The webinar gave an overview of the New Zealand Market Entry requirements as well as the Food Safety standards for Agricultural commodities, including kava, to New Zealand. The webinar was enriched by the high calibre of its presenters. Over a hundred participants attended over the two days.
With presentations and a highly engaging Q&A session, the program was designed to bring the participants closer to understanding to the intricacies exporting and inform them on the process and requirements to gain export status to New Zealand. The audience had the chance to hear from industry leaders including from the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries experts, New Zealand buyers and distributors, and from exporters themselves who discussed entry access and pathways for agriculture produce from the Pacific, as well as New Zealand market demands, importer requirements, and debated some of the challenges faced by exporters.
The panel, comprised of Bob Pollard, Managing Director, Kokonut Pacific, Solomon Islands, and Chris Dunbar, Managing Director, Venui Vanilla, Vanuatu, best practices, best solutions, and strategies to gain market share in the export of fresh or frozen agriculture produce to New Zealand. They also shared interesting insights on the New Zealand market structure and Pacific supply opportunities both for fresh and frozen produce. The importance of quality standards and consistency across the whole agricultural sector was also stressed.
Much can be said about the agriculture sector in the pacific island countries, recognising it as a major source of employment for many in the low to middle income bracket; contributes significantly to a country’s GDP and is a vehicle to promote healthy lifestyles, encourages national efforts to achieve some form of import substitution.
Many pacific exporters have spent their lives dedicated to this important industry. Many have achieved great success while others are only just emerging as export capable businesses with an export commodity to offer the market. Moreover, helping farmers increase their income by providing them direct access to the New Zealand markets for local produce is a measured success that can only be achieved by collaborating with producers on the ground like Kokonut Pacific of the Solomon Islands and others.
Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand has two distinct advantages; being in the market and experience and knowledge of the region. From these vantage points, the path2market webinars are designed to give the best advice to pacific island exporters by those in the New Zealand who understand import, market regulations and have strong distribution channels.
Hopefully, as borders in the region open up PTI NZ will move to deliver path2market missions in-country. In the meantime, webinars of this nature will remain for those countries with travel restrictions.
Path2Market Webinar - New Zealand import requirements for the agriculture sector (DAY 1)
Path2Market Webinar - New Zealand import requirements for the agriculture sector (DAY 2)