While the US and EU continue to be the largest importers of fresh fruit, China is the fastest growing market, which should be of interest to New Zealand's horticulture industry.

Rabobank's Senior Analyst for Horticulture and Wine, Hayden Higgins spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay about the bank's report from the Horticulture NZ Conference 2018, The Consumer and the story: Will China pay a premium for sustainability?

Higgins says there is a focus on China because it is our major food and agriculture market and it is growing and evolving. There is also a rising consumer awareness of foods' 'health and wellness' features in China and more importantly, the willingness to pay (WTP).

The potential for a New Zealand brand that holds, or develops strong sustainability credentials, has a strong future and Higgins says we should prepare and position for that in order to succeed.

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