Switch to today. Exports are crucial to our region, for many years hops and tobacco were its mainstays. And one of these is staging its own little rally.
Since 2000 prices and therefore income that growers receive, have been pretty ordinary. But wait, north of the equator they have had some real bad weather and that has drastically affected their production levels. So much so, that coupled with our UVP along with an increase in demand for premium beers, that static price is now starting to approach some of its highest levels ever.
NZ has approx. 17 commercial hop growers and they are all based in the Nelson region.
From our local paper, the Nelson Mail on Nov 4th 2008…..
Nelson is planting 20% more hops this year. Beer sales are up 8% year on year internationally. Growth from emerging markets like mainly China, India & Russia was partly responsible for an increase in international demand and hop prices.
Doug Donelan NZ Hops Chairman said although beer consumption in traditional markets was flat, consumption of premium & craft beers, which used more hops, had become more popular.
As NZ Hops say ….
“Our disease free environment and natural controls affords us the confidence to guarantee the brewer delivery of “spray free” hops. Our confidence becomes security for the brewer as a supply of consistent and reliable quality hops is available. This offer, unsurpassed by any other region, is born out by the fact that we have supplied hops continuously to the international brewing trade for over 150 years.”
- Pristine environment
- Temperate growing region 41° South
- Reliable off-season supply
- Consistent quality
- No diseases with spray free pest control
- Sustainability focused
Hops are harvested in late Feb & March. And it makes for a busy time when the amount of workers required is massive. This is one of the industries that I mentioned in an early blog post, when I was discussing “Test Drive” opportunities in Nelson for seasonal work in the region.