Showcasing the New Zealand Greenhouse Industry
It was a privilege to be asked, by Dana Muir and Peter Butler from the BNZ (Bank of New Zealand), if I could create a presentation showcasing the New Zealand Greenhouse Industry. I delivered the presentation, on the 25th of July, to a 25 strong group, who are part of the BNZ Agriculture Business Banking team, located in Hamilton and surrounding area. The content included an overall view of the greenhouse industry and the future opportunities that may arise here in New Zealand.
The benefits of growing in greenhouses are not well known, unless you are a greenhouse grower. For a lending institution who know a lot about money the simple fact they want to know more and more about our ever-expanding protected cropping industry is a positive sign. The partnership with a bank is becoming more than just about lending money. Understanding grower’s business and adding valuable banking advice are key ingredients to allow growers and lending institutions to continue to be successful and to expand. Asking me to give this presentation is certainly an indication the BNZ are taking our industry very seriously.
I was asked some probing questions, one in particular that comes to mind was “Why is there not more greenhouses in New Plymouth?” It is a good point as accessing energy in the region should be an added advantage. I would anticipate that the expansion in protected cropping won’t be limited to one geographical area in particular but those areas that are close to energy sources that can produce both heat and Co2 enrichment, have good labour sources available will have an advantage.
I broke the presentation into the following headings:
1, Current State of the Industry:
Greenhouse vegetable market and how it is broken down. I centred the discussion on low, medium and high-tech structures. To give perspective I offered a comparison, of the size of land used within the greenhouse industry in New Zealand, to other food-based industries, highlighting how small our land usage and footprint is and using this to demonstrate how intense production is per m2 in greenhouses.
2, The Future Outlook of the Industry in New Zealand and the World:
I talked about how I see the industry in the future, offering insight into new, high value, crops that will, potentially, transition into greenhouse cultivation.
3, Local and International Markets and Access:
I briefly touched on the major markets in New Zealand and countries products are exported to.
4, Backing a Glasshouse:
I ran through the basic considerations a new entrant, into the market, would need to factor, if they wanted to build a glasshouse, stressing the importance of location and labour availability. It is also vital to assess the availability of energy sources.
Something I feel passionate about is the ever evolving technology available to the industry. I wanted to stress this point as growers in NZ have always been quick to adapt and adopt leading practices and technologies from overseas. As technology is rapidly changing, we now talk in months rather than years, I feel it is important to understand the challenges and opportunities that growers will face in the future.
Finally, and most importantly I talked about us, the growers and suppliers of the industry. Highlighting how hugely diverse we are as a growing community, with incredibly talented female and male growers, from all walks of life, and how proud we are of what we do.
Thanks to the BNZ team that attended the presentation.
I appreciate your comments. Please feel free to comment below or on the grower2grower Facebook page:
Article Written by Stefan Vogrincic, Consultant, Grower2Grower
Article Edited by Marie Vogrincic, Editor, Grower2Grower