Vegetables New Zealand is welcoming lower consumer prices but is worried about future supply, given all the challenges vegetable growers are facing.
“It’s great that we’re currently in a period where vegetable supply is good, thanks to growers planting more and the weather supporting great spring growth,” says Vegetables NZ Chair John Murphy.
“However, growers remain under enormous pressure due to increasing input costs, mounting regulation, skilled labour shortages, and a business environment that does not support expansion.”
“If these pressures cannot be reversed, New Zealanders will not be able to enjoy fresh, healthy vegetables at reasonable prices in the future because more and more growers will exit the industry, reducing supply.”
“What’s more, because the industry has not been able to expand to cater for increased demand, New Zealand food security has been compromised. This means that it would only take one big adverse weather event in one of our major growing regions to create significant vegetable shortages in supermarkets for many months.”
John says Vegetables NZ has already engaged with the incoming Government on the challenges facing the industry.
“The incoming politicians whom we’ve spoken to are very positive and want to support our industry to expand so we can provide New Zealanders with fresh, healthy food at reasonable prices. However, there are a lot of fundamentals to get right to return our industry to growth and prosperity.”