The Big Picture for New Zealand Horticulture

April 2014

Julian Raine is a fruit grower and the president of Horticulture New Zealand

New HortNZ president Julian Raine is a “big picture” person with a diversified business in Nelson.

Julian is an orchardist and dairy farmer based at Stoke, Nelson and has spent about half his time in his role as the Horticulture New Zealand president since his election in August 2013.   The rest of his time is spread between his farming businesses, which include Wai-West Horticulture where he is a partner, his dairying operation, and Berryfruit Exports Ltd, which he manages and which exports the majority of New Zealand’s boysenberries.

He also sits on a number of boards as director, including NZ Hops Ltd and the Cawthron Institute, and is the chairman of Nuffield NZ.  He was a Nuffield scholar in 1997.

HortNZ has 22 product groups under its umbrella.  It represents an important part of the NZ economy and an important part of everyone’s diet – fruit and vegetables.  The horticulture industry’s aspirational vision is to deliver $10 billion of exports by 2020, and it is around $5.5 billion now.

Major product groups are kiwifruit, pipfruit, potatoes, avocadoes, onions and squash. Kiwifruit will be a $3 billion industry by early 2020.

Currently the horticulture industry is the fourth largest export earning industry in NZ, and the fifth largest industry when domestic production is included.

In the next five years HortNZ will be concentrating on four things:

  • biosecurity
  • people: including running leadership programmes and the RSE programme
  • natural resources, which is talking with government, regional and district councils about the policies they make and their impacts
  • how we operate as growers. HortNZ represent growers on about 20 different national committees, covering all sorts of issues from transport to fertiliser and agrichemicals

Another big issue is how HortNZ works with other rural industry bodies on the things which affect farmers and their right to farm.

Nuffield NZ runs leadership programmes for NZ agriculture, and has just signed an MOU with Lincoln University to operate jointly with the university’s Kellogg leadership programme.

The back-office functions of both will be run from the same place.   Julian says “All these programmes require a more professional operation, and neither of us can afford a full-time resource, so we are working together to make it happen.”

Julian and his wife Cathy live at Oaklands Farm, Stoke, and have been selling milk from two vending machines at their farm since June 2013. The milk is pasteurized to 73 degrees for 15 seconds.

They have just taken delivery of three new vending machines from Italy for selling milk in several new sites around Nelson including outside Julian’s sister Nikki’s café Vanilla in Nelson.

Their town supply dairy farm used to milk cows year round, but Fonterra ended its winter contracts in the Nelson region in 2012.

It took them a year to get the first vending machines set up, and now they sell about 10% of their milk production through the machines. The remainder goes to Fonterra.

Customers can bring their own containers or buy reusable glass or stainless steel containers.

Wai-West Horticulture which grows 150ha of apples, boysenberries and kiwifruit for export.  These orchards are close to Richmond on the Waimea Plains.