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The New Zealand flower industry is as old as the country's indigenous Maori population who cultivated native plants for medicinal and decorative purposes; as old as the 19th century British settlers who brought to this isolated country a love of botany and gardening and planted species to remind them of their homeland as well as other countries of the British Empire: Africa, India and the East.

Out of these humble beginnings developed the modern New Zealand floriculture industry, based on the traditions of the earlier generations and complemented by modern technology.

The impetus for the export industry was the development of regular air links to key markets such as Japan, USA and Europe in the 1960s and 1970s coupled with a recognition that New Zealand had the skilled grower base and climatic conditions to compete successfully in this international industry.

The export industry developed around the Cymbidium Orchid and New Zealand soon became recogised for its ability to supply high quality blooms in the northern hemisphere's off season.Cymbidium is still the number one crop but its success encouraged diversification. New Zealand growers have been particularly adept at taking exotic species, adapting them to local conditions and continuing to develop improved varieties of colour, size and shape. This has seen the development of commercial industries in Calla, Sandersonia, Nerines, Lilies and Paeonies.

This combined with production of New Zealand's unique native greens and foliage provides a high quality, premium portfolio of floraculture products.

New Zealand is blessed with a beautiful clean environment, perfect for production of high quality flowers. Clean air, water and the intensity of light are particular attributes that contribute to the intricacies of the shape, size and colour of New Zealand flowers.
2009 NZFEA & Associated members.