In 2018, Tomatoes New Zealand has 123 registered members growing fresh tomatoes, with a farm gate value of over $130 million (end March 2018).
New Zealand growers exported 3,544 metric tonnes of fresh tomatoes to 21 mainly Asian and Pacific Rim countries in the 2017 calendar year. Exports comprise around 9% of the industry value each year, bringing in around $9-12m.
The main export season runs from October to April. Australia has historically been the main export destination; however the volume to that market has been decreasing with growth in Australian indoor production, while volumes to Japan have increased since 2013.
Other important markets include New Caledonia, Canada, French Polynesia, Fiji, USA, Hong Kong Samoa, Thailand and Singapore. Future potential markets that NZ fresh tomatoes does not currently have access to are China and Korea.
Fresh Tomatoes can presently only be imported from Australia. Those imports must be grown under a compliance programme that seeks to reduce the likelihood of those tomatoes carrying fruit fly eggs, larvae or flies, and must all be irradiated. The Tomatoes when sold in New Zealand must be labelled as “Irradiated”.
This trade commenced in 2013, after an almost two year break in tomato imports due to the banning of dimethoate, the previous treatment required for fruit flies.
The import season usually runs from June to October. Details of fresh tomato imports to 2018 can be found by clicking here Tomato-Imports-2018.
Tomato Prices and Supply in NZ
Statistics New Zealand Household Economic Survey figures show New Zealand households spent $114.9 on tomatoes in the year to June 2016.