NZAPI – December Update

Posted By HBFA | December 20, 2022

Earlier this month, NZAPI hosted “A Taste of India in the Bay”. The event was honoured with the presence of the High Commissioner of India to New Zealand, Her Excellency Neeta Bhushan (appointed September 2022), who made her first trip to Hawke’s Bay to engage with our apple and pear industry. The event also provided an opportunity for new and old exporters to India to hear from Chandan Ohri from Duco Consultancy, and Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director of New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF) following his first trip to India the previous week.

The High Commissioner’s visit started with a tour at Craigmore Sustainable’s Springhill orchard in Central Hawke’s Bay. The visit was led by Graeme Hodges and Ben James, and showcased the excellence in apple production in Ongaonga. Discussions with the Craigmore team included fruit quality, varietal opportunities, workforce training and upskilling, the industry’s young grower network, and international movement of leaders.  Craigmore Springhill has an excellent set up and is ready to welcome the future in orchard management and automatization. The visit was wrapped up with an outstanding lunch of premium NZ lamb (courtesy of gourmet chef, Graeme) and a selection of seasonal vegetables picked for the occasion!

The High Commissioner reminded us that India is one of the fastest (and largest) growing economies in the world, following a swift recovery from Covid-19. The top imports from India to NZ are pharmaceuticals, travel and tourism, followed by machinery. Our main exports to India are timber, then travel, with fruits, nuts and wool following in third place.

The High Commissioner made it clear that we must step up our trade between both countries, and quickly. Trust and relationships are important. She recommended traders go and experience for themselves, interact with the locals, and learn how easy it is to do business in India.

The demand for goods – specifically high-quality, organics food items – is increasing rapidly. Fifty percent of India’s population is under 35 years old. It is estimated that fifty percent of the population are vegetarians, so fruit has a key role to play in their diet. There was emphasis that India is urbanising at a very rapid pace, buzzing with interest and demand for high-quality food products. Future premium apple and pear varietals could find a nice home in India!

NZAPI were pleased that HE Neeta Bhushan recognises New Zealand’s high-quality apples and pears, and to hear her express positivity for our relationship moving forward. The message on the importance of growing a mutually beneficial partnership was clear and the HC emphasised the counter-seasonal nature of our harvest.

Deals including joint ventures, seasonal tariffs, strategic alliances, and foreign direct investments should be contemplated. Stephen Jacobi made a clear observation that India is well-resourced with talented people and young people are India’s future and will be the path in our international relationship.

During the meeting we had the chance to showcase the ongoing efforts to maintain and deepen the apple industry’s partnership with India through the launch of the G2G video from Himachal Pradesh World Bank project. This has certainly laid an excellent foundation from which we can all lean in on. The partnership and collaboration captured in the following video speaks for itself.

Himachal Pradesh case study video LINK HERE

Sharing the NZAPI strategy with HE Neeta Bhushan and the members created clear views of possibilities for partnerships, collaboration and exchange to reinforce commercial links and strengthen future trade. This event laid an excellent foundation to continue our work together as we strive towards new approaches to help reduce or remove tariffs. We know it won’t happen overnight, but this relationship matters greatly! India is only going in one direction.

Finally, we would like to thank The Apple Press for the lovely gift presented to the High Commissioner. We look forward to having Her Excellency back again in the region once the harvest starts.


NZAPI Int Engagement Mgr. Dr Elena Duter

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