Food and beverage export programme announced

The government’s work programme, partnering with industry to grow New Zealand’s high-value food and beverage exports, was launched yesterday at the Villa Maria Winery in Auckland.

The work programme is the government’s response to last year’s Food and Beverage Taskforce report Smart Food, Cool Beverage and is comprised of six initiates including $19 million for in-market assistance for the sector offshore.

“Thanks to its innovation and scale, the food and beverage sector will continue to have a long term and major positive impact on New Zealand’s economy,” Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard said.

“This sector is central to New Zealand’s economic performance. Half of New Zealand’s exports are food-related and the sector employs one-in-five people. The growth in the sector’s productivity in both on-farm production and in food manufacturing has been consistently above the average for the whole economy.”

This package exists on top of budget and other recent initiatives to assist the food sector including $8 million for research into increasing productivity and sustainability across primary sectors, and $14 million for research into innovative foods and other products.

Mallard commented that the programme’s initiatives aim to lift New Zealand’s exports and help grow more firms that are export-capable and internationally competitive in this area.

“When we talk about economic transformation, this is what we mean — using our existing strengths and capabilities to move into high-value but related areas of export activity that deliver us higher wages and a better standard of living.”

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