A new report confirms the dairy industry makes a major contribution to New Zealand’s economy, says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.
“According to the report dairy contributes $7.8 billion to New Zealand’s GDP and is our largest goods exporter. This is a timely reminder of just how important the dairy industry is,” says Mr. Guy.
The report ‘Dairy trade’s economic contribution to New Zealand’ was commissioned from NZIER by the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) and released today.
“While the dairy sector has had a tough few seasons, in the year to March 2016 they still earned over $13 billion in exports for New Zealand.
“According to the report the dairy sector employs over 40,000 workers and employment in this sector has grown more than twice as fast as total employment, at an average of 3.7 per cent per year since 2000.
“The dairy industry is especially important in regional areas. It accounts for 14.8 per cent of Southland’s economy, 11.5 per cent of the West Coast economy, and 10.9 per cent of the Waikato economy.
“As a Government we are investing $89 million, matched by the dairy industry, through the Primary Growth Partnership to help create new products, reduce environmental impacts, increase on-farm productivity, and improve agricultural education.”
DairyNZ estimates that farmers have spent over $1 billion over the past five years on environmental management systems such as effluent systems, riparian plating and retiring sensitive land, which equates to around $90,000 per dairy farm.
“The report also highlights the potential of further trade liberalisation. NZIER’s modelling suggests that if all global dairy tariffs were eliminated, this would result in a $1 billion boost to GDP. This is why opening up market access and tackling non-tariff barriers as well remains a priority.”