New Zealand a food producer of global scale
New Zealand’s credentials as a global food and meat producer are highlighted in an op-ed in leading U.S. trade publication The National Provisioner by Matt Luxton, Director of Sales, USA at Silver Fern Farms.
New Zealand exports a variety of food products, making it the world’s 12th largest agricultural exporter by value, says Luxton. “Currently, it’s the top exporter of lamb and venison, the #2 dairy exporter, the #1 dairy product exporter in the world, and one of the main exporters of beef, kiwifruit, apples and seafood worldwide.” New Zealand is the USA’s 4th largest source of imported beef. In 2018, the country generated $34.5 billion in global food and beverage export revenues. Dairy, plus eggs and honey, made up nearly 28% of total exports, while meat came second at approximately 14%, based on detailed 2019 data.
The food production industry is such a massive part of the New Zealand economy that 1 in 5 of its employed population works somewhere in the food production and supply chain, says Luxton. “From its farmers and chefs to its processing plant employees and food industry leaders, the food sector in New Zealand continues to grow and attract talent on all its levels of business.”
Luxton says New Zealand is a country rich in fertile green pastures providing the perfect agricultural landscape to support efficient and consistent growing and raising practices and yield high quality food products.
“New Zealand’s geographic isolations protects the country from pests and diseases found elsewhere in the world that can impact food production, and New Zealand places great importance on biosecurity to protect these industries. National grazing and growing practices focus on suitability and sustainability by maximizing the natural ability of the land and its rich biodiversity, while minimizing intervention. New Zealand animals are born, bred, and raised in their natural spaces with plenty of vegetation and nurtured through a system of rotational grazing that helps to regenerate the land and prevent overgrazing one plot.
“Given that New Zealand is a leader in climate change policies and recently pledged to carbon neutrality by 2050, the agricultural sector is also part of that sustainable mission and is actively working to reduce emissions and runoff. The nation and the industry’s sustainability efforts not only help preserve the beauty of the natural environment, but also serve to enhance the land and create long-term spaces to expand food production.
The New Zealand food industry also dedicates time and resources to agricultural innovation, says Luxton, researching potential new crops and investing in promising initiatives to diversify its food offerings and production capabilities.
“The sector is always looking to improve its exporting structure and expand the catalogue of New Zealand grown food. For that purpose, the industry enlists top tier scientific, environmental, and agricultural experts to study ways to improve productivity, enhance value and achieve long-term results efficiently and sustainably.”
New Zealand also invests heavily to preserve the safety and quality of its food products and currently “ranks 1st equal with other countries for food safety, nutritional standards and food safety net programs”. The sector relies on its product traceability promise and science-based safety regulations to guarantee premium and dependable products for its global customers.
Dunedin-based Silver Fern Farms is New Zealand’s largest red meat producer, producing 30% of all beef, lamb and venison in the country and is equally committed to the value of its exports. The company is dedicated to producing premium red meat products for its domestic and global customers and promoting the superior taste of New Zealand-made food. Much like the national industry, Silver Fern Farms is dedicated to preserving the environment through its sustainable chain of care and works hard to continuously improve its traceability and product safety standards, while elevating the freshness of its products.