Structure & Membership

Structure and Membership

The Industry

Horticulture New Zealand (HortNZ) is an industry association representing New Zealand's 5,500 commercial fruit and vegetable growers.

New Zealand horticulture is a $5.68 billion industry, excluding wine, exporting 60% of total production to over 124 countries.

Horticulture is New Zealand’s fourth largest export industry. Kiwifruit alone accounts for more than $1 billion in export earnings.

Other major exports are pipfruit, avocados, onions, buttercup squash, processed vegetables and potatoes. Citrus, summerfruit (like cherries) and berryfruit are developing export products.

The industry has a reputation for innovation, quality, early adoption of new technology and responsiveness to market demand. New Zealand is a home to efficient, flexible producers who have the ability to respond quickly to international customer demand.

Key export markets for New Zealand fruit and vegetable produce are Australia, the United States of America, Japan, the United Kingdom and the European Union. China, Taiwan and South Korea are growing markets which have shown significant growth in the last 10 years, which is likely to continue.

New Zealand’s horticultural production area uses over 120,000 hectares, which is less than 1% of the country’s total land area. More than 60,000 people are employed in New Zealand’s horticulture industry, in key growing regions spread from the north to the south of the country, often close to urban centres.

In 2009 the horticulture industry released its first industry strategy, ‘Growing A New Future’, which has the goal of achieving an industry valued at $10 billion by the year 2020. The industry is well on the way to achieving this target.

Horticulture New Zealand

HortNZ monitors changes in Government policy on behalf of our members, promotes the development of the horticulture industry, makes submissions to central and regional government, gives policy advice and aims to influence change for the benefit of growers.

HortNZ publishes industry magazines "The Orchardist" and "NZGrower" and runs New Zealand GAP, a product certification programme benchmarked to GLOBALGAP. About 80% of the produce grown in New Zealand is covered by a third party assurance certification programme.

The range of issues HortNZ works on for growers includes resource management legislation, biosecurity protection, seasonal and skilled labour recruitment, environmental policies and industry education and training. We also provide information and support to Government agencies to gain better market access for horticulture product and remove barriers to export development.

Product Groups

There are 22 product groups affiliated to HortNZ covering pipfruit, kiwifruit, summerfruit, nashi, citrus, tamarillos, feijoas, avocados, boysenberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, kiwiberries, onions, passionfruit, persimmons, tomatoes, fresh vegetables, potatoes, buttercup squash, processed vegetables and asparagus.

HortNZ is funded by growers via a levy on sales, is governed by a board of eight, all of whom are growers and operates with a staff of 18 based in New Zealand's capital, Wellington.

New Zealand Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust

Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust
The New Zealand Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust was set up in 1985. It was founded on the sale of 50% of the New Zealand Fruitgrowers Federation's share in commercial trading and export activities. The profit of the sale was $7 million. It was decided that the existing 50% would be set up as a separate fund known as the New Zealand Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust. 

Grants offered by the Trust

The Trust offers grants to the horticulture industry and are interested in applications that are focused on:

  • Education
    (The Trust does not pay the tuition fees of individual students and does not make grants to non-residents.)
  • Fruit Grower Groups
    (except in the start-up phase the Trust does not fund the administrative or management costs of Grower Groups. The Trust does not normally assist with marketing costs.)
  • Generic Industry Issues
  • Research
    (This may include export or domestic market research or specific pests or diseases. The Trust does not fund Product Group research such as plant breeding.)
  • Industry People
    (The Trust does not provide 100% funding and preference is given to growers where the benefits will be shared with the wider industry. The Trust will consider grants to grower welfare groups (e.g. Rural Support Trust) during hardship. Grants are not made for the betterment of individual growers.)
  • Flow-on benefit for New Zealand

The trustees consider grant applications from the industry in two rounds in each financial year in September and March. 

The Trust has made grants to the fruit growing and horticulture industry of over $5.5 million since 2003 and almost $11 million since 1987.

Application process:

(i) Applications need to be made on an official form accompanied by:

• references
• financial information
• other supporting information

(ii) Trustees will approve or decline applications in writing
(iii) An outcome report or progress report may be required
(iv) Applications will be considered twice per financial year in September and March

Applications should be emailed to:

or posted to:
The Secretary, NZ Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust, PO Box 2175, Wellington

or contact Keith Mackenzie on (04) 494 9974 to discuss your application.

Download an application form here.

Investment history of the Trust

Originally 95% of Trust assets were held in shares and notes in Fruitfed Limited to the value of $7 million. Income on the investment was received in the form of interest and dividends. When Fruitfed ran into difficult times Trust income declined. In 1992 the trading business was floated on the NZ Stock Exchange as Fruitfed Supplies Limited. The Trust reduced its shareholding from 50% to 30%. In 2000 the Trust sold its remaining shareholding in Fruitfed Supplies.

In 1992 the Trust had purchased a 15% shareholding in the Huddart Parker Building Limited from Fruitfed Limited. Between 2002 and 2005 the Trust bought out the other shareholders of the building to allow a stronger position of influence from an investment point of view.

In 2013 earthquake strengthening was done on the Huddart Parking Building to allow for continued tenancy of the building. The cost was $9 million and to do this meant selling the Term Deposits and Equities of the Trust. The building is now fully tenanted and earning Gross Rents of $1.6 million per annum. This gives a gross return on investment of 11.3% per annum.