Trade access was retracted in 2021 following the detection of PepMV in a commercial greenhouse  


New Zealand exported more than 600 tonnes of tomatoes to Australia in 2020

Exports of New Zealand fresh tomatoes to Australia will recommence this year after access was regained on 21 June. 

The export route had been closed since April 2021 after the pepino mosaic virus (PepMV) was detected in a commercial greenhouse, according to reporting from 1 News New Zealand.  

TomatoesNZ general manager Dinah Cohen told 1 News that TomatoesNZ had worked with the Ministry for Primary Industries for nearly two years to re-open the Australia market. 

According to Cohen, a new “code of practice” gave Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries the “assurance it needs to enable fresh tomatoes to be exported from New Zealand once again”. 

“We thank the Ministry of Primary Industries for working with the (Australian) Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on our behalf to manage the re-opening,” Cohen said. 

Before the retraction, Australia was an important market for New Zealand fresh tomato exporters.  

“Prior to 2021, fresh tomato exports to Australia were valued at approximately NZ$2m per annum,” Ministry of Primary Industries plant exports manager Shane Olsen told 1 News New Zealand. 

In 2020, more than 600 tonnes of tomatoes were sent to Australia, according to TomatoesNZ, which was second only to the 1,400 tonnes exported to Hong Kong.  

Since then, exports to Hong Kong have reduced significantly, 1 News New Zealand reported, meaning there is potential for Australia to become New Zealand’s biggest export destination for tomatoes.