Agribusiness

Key facts:

 

  • Christchurch is home to more than 900 agricultural, forestry and fishing businesses, while Canterbury itself hosts nearly 10,000 of them. These businesses employ more than 16,000 people
  • Canterbury has the largest area of irrigated land in New Zealand
  • Canterbury is responsible for producing 17% of the country’s sheep, 19% of the country’s dairy cattle, 13% of the country’s beef cattle, 28% of the country’s deer, and 55% of the country’s pigs
  • Canterbury provides 50% of the international requirement for radish seeds, 35% of white clover seeds, 33% of world’s carrot seeds and 30% of the Bok Choy seeds (as of 2011).

Canterbury plays a significant role in New Zealand’s agricultural economy thanks to its fertile, arable land, leading educational facilities and innovative primary production sector. The region has one of the largest agricultural communities in the country, supported by a globally-recognised academic sector. New Zealand’s two largest dairy companies – Fonterra and Synlait – also have a significant presence in Canterbury.

Canterbury is a world-renowned food-growing region, and an international and domestic hub for agribusiness, agri-research and agritech.

Christchurch, the region’s capital, is home to more than 900 agricultural, forestry and fishing businesses, while Canterbury itself hosts nearly 10,000 of them. These businesses employ more than 16,000 people – or around 6% of the region’s workforce.

The sector’s success stems from the region’s fertile soil and relatively flat, arable land, skilled workforce and established history of pastural development. In fact, Canterbury has the largest area of irrigated land in New Zealand. More than half of the region’s total land area (2.8 million hectares) is suitable for arable production – growing food like meat (beef, lamb and pork), seafood, dairy products, livestock feed, seeds and grass, and wine for domestic consumption and international export.

A key player in New Zealand’s rural economy, Canterbury is responsible for producing 17% of the country’s sheep, 19% of the country’s dairy cattle, 13% of the country’s beef cattle, 28% of the country’s deer, and 55% of the country’s pigs.

The mid-Canterbury region in particular, which represents 43% of New Zealand’s arable production, makes a significant contribution to world food supplies – providing 50% of the international requirement for radish seeds, 35% of white clover seeds, 33% of world’s carrot seeds and 30% of the Bok Choy seeds (as of 2011).

Research facilities and agritech innovations are also prevalent in Canterbury. Undertaken by both the private sector and globally-recognised research institutions (such as Lincoln University, The University of Canterbury, Landcare Research, Plant and Food Research, AgResearch and Environment Canterbury), the industry’s academic sector adds real value to the region and the country’s success as a food supplier for the entire world.

The sector is also supported by central and local government. Recent regulation, policy and other initiatives – such as water management policies, R&D credits, Free Trade Agreements and the Emissions Trading Scheme – are ensuring a sustainable future for the local agri-economy.

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For more information contact:

Gillian Officer, Director of Business Development T: +64 3 388 8888 | E: gofficer@tepae.co.nz

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