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New Zealand asparagus growers faced with low local demand and no exports

In New Zealand, more than 100 hectares of asparagus are being left unpicked this season. With restaurants in Auckland and Waikato closed or scaled back, and supermarket sales too quiet, local demand has plummeted. Any possible exports, which in the past have absorbed some of the production, are not coming about.

In one of New Zealand's key growing regions Waikato, up to a third of the crop, 50 hectares is being left to fern up.

Before, Australia was exporting asparagus to Japan, but with the higher labor costs and other issues, New Zealand would not be competitive in that market. In past years, Japan was a high paying lucrative market for New Zealand growers with early crop, but in more recent years the volume of exports from New Zealand have dropped significantly.


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