Growing exports

To increase primary sector exports, it's crucial to maintain New Zealand's reputation for safe food, favourable animal welfare and plant health, and trusted market assurances. MPI helps exporters maintain and grow access to international markets by ensuring they meet the requirements of importing countries.


Building exports through reputation and trust

New Zealand's primary industries are focused on export markets and rely on New Zealand maintaining and growing access to those markets. MPI works with exporters to reduce, and preferably eliminate, tariffs and other barriers to trade for goods.

We also work to provide trusted assurances that New Zealand's products meet the requirements of importing countries. It's our job to ensure there are systems in place to provide importing countries with safe products that meet their requirements. We do this to maximise the export opportunities for the primary sector.

Growth and protection closely connected

MPI is committed to significantly increasing the value of New Zealand's primary industry exports by 2025. The goal goes hand in hand with protecting consumers of New Zealand's products, our producers, the natural resources they rely on, and our international reputation for food safety, animal welfare, and sustainable resource use. 

Growth and protection are closely connected – there can be no sustainable growth without MPI's work verifying our production systems. 

Growth from a strong base

New Zealand is the world's:

  • 12th largest agricultural exporter (by value)
  • No. 1 sheep meat exporter
  • No. 1 dairy product exporter
  • No. 2 wool exporter
  • No. 2 softwood log exporter.

New Zealand produces a little and exports a lot

ProductWorld Production
(%)
World Trade
(%)
Dairy

3

33

Beef

1

8

Sheep meat

6

75

Wool

14

27

Venison

<1

50

Kiwifruit

21

32

Pipfruit

1

5

Wine

0.5

2

Fish

0.3

1

Roundwood (coniferous)

2.3

14

Increasing export opportunities

One of MPI's roles is to improve opportunities for exporting businesses and industries. In line with the Government's Business Growth Agenda objective of increasing exports as a percentage of gross domestic product from 30% to 40%, MPI has developed the export goal.

The goal is to double primary industry exports in real terms from $32 billion in June 2012 to $64 billion by 2025. To achieve this, New Zealand's primary industries must grow at a rate of 5.5% a year through to 2025.

MPI's work growing exports includes:

  • ensuring primary sector exporters can access overseas markets
  • negotiating free trade agreements (FTAs) 
  • contributing to the development of international standards
  • participating in Minister-led trade missions
  • monitoring export quality and safety through robust auditing systems.

Poised for export growth

New Zealand is well positioned for export growth:

  • From 1993–2013 primary sector exports in New Zealand grew by 47%.
  • Over 70% of New Zealand's merchandise exports come from primary industries. Our biggest opportunity to reach our export goals rests with these industries.
  • We have world class biosecurity, food safety, animal welfare and fisheries management systems.
  • We are trusted – New Zealand is an international brand.
  • MPI is driving and supporting innovation through our Primary Growth Partnerships (PGP) and Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) schemes.
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