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BCNZ Contacts

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Blackcurrants NZ Inc. (BCNZ) is an incorporated society which has a role of representing the NZ Blackcurrant industry.

BCNZ is the Recognised Product Group for blackcurrants under the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority (HEA). In this role it is responsible for administering the export industry, representing the industry participants and for formulating the industry Export Marketing Strategy (EMS). The EMS prescribes industry objectives, and a set of rules which all industry participants must follow, by which the objectives will be met.

BCNZ

Six growers are appointed to the executive of BCNZ in accordance with the rules, which stipulate one from each of the two growing regions, and four from anywhere in NZ. Exporters are also appointed in accordance with the rules - through an election process amongst the marketers' and processors' group.

The New Zealand blackcurrant industry places great value on its reputation as a producer of highest quality blackcurrants and blackcurrant products. Its mission is to have sustainable growth and profitability in the New Zealand blackcurrant industry, and to differentiate NZ blackcurrants as a premium product. BCNZ believes that achievement of this mission is highly dependant on consistently achieving highest quality output.

This was a driver for blackcurrants to become a recognised product under the HEA. Through export licensing, the HEA provides assurance to exporters that they will be operating in a quality focussed industry. Blackcurrants have been subject to export licensing under the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority Act 1987 since 10 August 1990.

It is the view of BCNZ that the blackcurrant industry will most effectively develop and grow with a structure that supports tight cooperation, yet still encourages innovation through development of new products and markets. The base of the industry comprises product forms which are included in the provisions of the HEA Act, and NZ does have a superior position in the market as a supplier of these products. This will be maintained by:

  • rigorous maintenance of quality standards, including the residue free status of concentrate,
  • retention of production efficiencies,
  • adherence to an international marketing plan, that is developed for the industry and tailored to suit individual market requirements,
  • attention to servicing overseas market in an efficient, controlled and cost effective manner,
  • use of reliable market intelligent to control and plan overseas market development
  • presentation of a consistent, and excellent promotion by exporters which includes all elements of product knowledge, research, plant breeding and quality standards development of strategic alliances by exporters on behalf of the industry, providing assurance of orderly supply in recognition of their investment in blackcurrant product and market development.

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The Blackcurrant Industry

The main growing regions are Nelson, and Canterbury.

Total New Zealand production of Blackcurrants has expanded significantly over recent years, and output will continue growing as areas of new and replacement plantings of higher yielding varieties come on stream and through improved management. The 2006 survey of all commercial growers showed that new plantings planned in the next two years would be 13.5% of their existed planted area.

Four of the newer varieties are clearly becoming favoured with new or replacement plantings. Over the next three years, the 2006 growers’ survey says that production by variety (of what will become the five largest by volume) will be:

Ben Ard3,920 tonnes
Magnus2,507 tonnes
Ben Rua1,904 tonnes
Murchison257 tonnes
Kimberly100 tonnes

New Zealand is the largest producer of Blackcurrants outside of Europe, producing approximately 3% of total world supply. The main product form for export is traditionally concentrated juice, which is used as an ingredient for beverage and jam manufacturers.

An exciting development for the NZ industry is the growing library of information on health benefits available through the consumption of blackcurrant. This work is being spearheaded in Japan where the market for nutraceutical products is estimted to now have an annual worth of $5m, rising from nil only 5 years ago.

The NZ industry has strong links with the Japan Cassis Association, whose role is to promote blackcurrants in Japan, and disseminate information about the health benefits. We are planning a collaborative approach to research which will continue to provide supporting evidence from clinical trials, about the health benefist of blackcurrant.

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Blackcurrant Industry Operation

BCNZ collects a compulsory levy under the Commodity Levies Act, currently at 4c/kg, which is used to fund the activities of blackcurrants New Zealand.

BCNZ is also affiliated to Horticulture New Zealand which represents the interests of all growers. Its role is to tackle key generic issues for the benefit of all berryfruit growers and their industries. These include, for example, the lobbying of grower issues such as market access, and food safety.

Blackhort is a formal entity that is set up to manage the NZ blackcurrant breeding programme. This programme is jointly funded by Blackcurrants NZ and Plant and Food Research Ltd. (formerly HortResearch), with funding also from the Sustainable Farming Fund Foundation for Research Science and Technology. Blackhort also administers and collects royalties from plant and fruit sales.

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Licensed Blackcurrant Exporters

Ten companies hold a license from the HEA to export blackcurrants, and these are listed below:

Exporter Website
Glaxo Smithkline Ltd http://www.ribena.co.nz
Just the Berries Ltd http://www.justtheberries.co.nz
Mike Eggers Ltd
NZ Berryfruit Group http://www.nzbg.net
NZ Blackcurrant Co-operative http://www.nzblackcurrants.com
Primor Produce Ltd http://www.primor.co.nz
RD2 International Ltd http://www.rd2-international.com
Sujon Berryfruit Ltd http://www.sujon.co.nz
Fresh Produce Group Ltd.
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ENZA Foods NZ Ltd.

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This page contains information about the NZ blackcurrant industry and the way it is structured.


Click here to watch a television documentary from August 2010 which showcased NZ research results which are indicating health benefits of blackcurrants - related to asthma relief and improved muscle recovery after exercise.

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  1. About us
  2. BCNZ
  3. The Blackcurrant Industry
  4. Blackcurrant Industry Structure
  5. Licensed Blackcurrant Exporters