Horticulture New Zealand, the representative body for the country’s fruit and vegetable growing industry, anticipates that the domestic pipfruit and kiwifruit industries will continue their current consolidation process, Radio NZ reports.
Escalating costs and a need for improved efficiency is driving the change, as smaller operators are coming under increased financial pressure.
Horticulture New Zealand’s chief executive officer, Peter Silcock, told Radio NZ he saw the consolidation process as a positive development, occurring with the emergency of grower, packer, cold storage and exporter operations.
"They're getting bigger as of necessity, again it's some of the big players who are investing in new plantings and new varieties, I think that's very positive, they know a lot about the industry, they know what they're doing, they've got good links to their customers."
Silcock added that bigger operations are also assuming some orchards left by smaller growers departing the industry, which increased the pace of consolidation and upscaling.
A new report by consulting firm Coriolis Research noted increasing orchard and post-harvest operation size, alongside a declining number of growers, as two key current trends in New Zealand’s fresh fruit sector.