The Experiences of New Zealand Floriculture Export Producers in the Changing International Market: What Can Be Done to Strengthen the Sector's Capabilities?
Abstract This research focused on the New Zealand floriculture industry, an important foreign exchange earner and employment provider that has silently contributed New Zealand?s national and regional economies over the past four decades. Internationally the global floriculture industry and market is growing, providing opportunities for many. At the same time, international industry dynamics are constantly changing, bringing in challenges for industry stakeholders worldwide. This has made it important to evaluate the New Zealand floriculture industry?s ability to face future challenges. In view of that importance, this research was designed to develop a knowledge base on New Zealand floriculture industry by investigating the floriculture producers? industry and export experiences in the changing international environment. A mixed method approach was applied in this research to bring together evidence from multiple sources, including documents, industry reports, production and trade statistics, participant interviews, and author self-reflection. The analysis was designed to identify the important developments in the international settings that impacted the New Zealand export floriculture industry, and to draw lessons from the New Zealand grower experiences in the dynamic and changing international marketplace. The research revealed that a significant and rewarding floriculture industry was established in New Zealand in the mid-twentieth century, earning a strong reputation for product quality and consistency and becoming a leading and important supplier from the region to Japan, USA and the major import markets in Europe by 2000. As the global floriculture industry exhibited remarkable accelerated growth from the early 2000s, it provided opportunities for many countries? development of this sector. In many developing countries, floriculture industries were developed within national development agendas which provided government support in a number of areas, and under trade facilitation schemes. Floriculture producers across the world reaped the benefits of this growth, but the New Zealand floriculture industry did not enjoy comparative expansion or rewards. The early competitive edge New Zealand floriculture exporters had enjoyed in major international markets appeared to be in decline. Despite this, today the sector remains a significant source of production, employment and export earnings for New Zealand. Current actors in the New Zealand floriculture industry have proved their resilience in the face of demanding international challenges and adversities. The research findings highlight the strengths that are apparent, and then draws conclusions of how an appropriate national policy framework could be developed to respond to future challenges and ensure a sustainable future for the New Zealand floriculture sector.