Taiwan fruitful for apples
On December 1 the 20% tariff on New Zealand apples exported to Taiwan was removed. “This is a very positive development for our industry,” says Alan Pollard, chief executive of Pipfruit New Zealand Incorporated.
“Taiwan has always been an important market for New Zealand apples and this will open up more opportunity for us.”
The 2013 export crop was the biggest in nine years at 320,000 tonnes. Taiwan imported 10,000 tonnes. “Demand will certainly increase,” says Mr Pollard, “Taiwan has always wanted our high quality sweet apples, they love the clean environment our apples are grown in.”
For the past few years the apple industry has been quietly restructuring and refocusing on its Asian markets. This is now starting to pay off as exports have grown from $325 million in 2010 to an estimated $500 million in 2013.
In 2004 the developing market of Asia and the Middle East imported 12% of New Zealand apples. In 2013 it is well over 40%.
Mr Pollard only has confidence in the future of the industry. “We have put out a target to be a billion dollar industry by 2022. With our current market growth and opportunities such as Taiwan we are certainly on target to do this.”