Taranaki regional development agency, Venture Taranaki, have launched nine new food and fibre value chain opportunities focused on diversifying the region’s existing food and fibre offerings, with more to come.
This mix of ventures has been investigated and validated over the course of the two-year Branching Out project. The blueprints encompass innovation, growth, and offer market potential, for use by the community including landowners, farmers, food manufacturers, growers, and investors.
"These blueprints represent a tremendous opportunity for the region. They act as the next step in building investor confidence and serve as an informative roadmap to kick-start complementary land-based activities and associated value chain enterprises in Taranaki, building value and resilience to our regional economy," says Venture Taranaki Chief Executive Kelvin Wright.
The blueprint ventures housed on the Venture Taranaki website include Avocados; Gin Botanicals; Grains, Legumes and Vegetables; Hemp fibre for construction; Hops; Kiwifruit; Medicinal Plants; Sheep Dairy; Trees and their value chain; and Indigenous Ingredients
"We will be encouraging the community, interested investors, and existing players to review the opportunities presented. Each blueprint provides an overview for the commercial establishment, including growing, production and processing for each venture, supply and value chains, and an indication of potential returns," explains Kelvin.
Taranaki is renowned for its food production with a temperate climate, the most sunshine hours in the country, and the ability to grow grass. With these factors at play, beef and dairy are well suited to the region and are a mainstay of the Taranaki economy.
"Our existing key industries remain critical to the regional economy; however, the newly launched investment blueprints allow us to leverage our strengths and consider diverse opportunities in food and fibre that we can also excel at," says Anne Probert, GM Regional Strategy and Sectors.
"Through the Branching Out project 270,000 ha of suitable land has been identified for horticulture in the region, with over 40 growers expressing interest in supporting pilot trial activities across a range of ventures.
"We are accelerating the commercial opportunities in front of us, and significant progress has been made to date, including over 70 ha that is already under development or under serious consideration for avocado planting, along with the formation of a Taranaki Avo Growers’ Group.
"Earlier this year, we also launched a digital tool to collect meaningful data and map the region’s medicinal plant growing activity. Adjacent industries, such as sheep dairying, are coming to fruition, and the Grains, Legumes and Vegetable blueprint reflects the shift and appetite for plant-based opportunities," continues Anne.
For more information: venture.org.nz