Story: Apples and pears

Page 7. Marketing and distribution

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Apple and Pear Marketing Board

From around 1920, New Zealand growers wanted to reduce the problem of low prices during gluts and high prices during shortages in the local market, and to bring stability to the export market. The Apple and Pear Marketing Board was set up in 1948, and marketed both export and locally sold fruit.


From the mid-1990s there was increasing pressure to deregulate the industry, and the board’s selling monopoly was removed in 2001. In 2007 there were over 90 exporters, although 30% of the exporters are responsible for 90% of the export crop. ENZA is the largest.

Forbidden fruit

Since 1921 New Zealand has not been allowed to export apples to Australia because of the presence of fire blight. Since the mid-1980s, New Zealand has sought to have the ban lifted as there is no evidence that fruit carry the bacteria. In 2007, after 20 years of failed negotiations, New Zealand decided to refer the matter to the World Trade Organization.

Export markets

Key markets are the UK, continental Europe, the USA and South-East Asia. Knowledge of each market’s specific requirements in terms of pest and disease quarantine, fruit size and cultivars is essential.

Domestic market

New Zealand supplies most of its own apples and pears, fresh or as juice, but some fresh fruit is imported from the US, China and Australia. Canned apples and pears are imported mostly from Australia.

How to cite this page:

John Palmer, 'Apples and pears - Marketing and distribution', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 July 2024)

Story by John Palmer, published 24 Nov 2008