A blueprint for the future of food and fibre

Branching Out, a project initiated and led by Venture Taranaki, and underpinned by local sponsors and MPI’s SFFF Fund, has identified a number of innovative, commercially viable food and fibre value chain opportunities for Taranaki. This supports the region’s strategy and long-term vision for a resilient, high-value, and low-emissions future as articulated by Tapaue Roa and Taranaki 2050 – the guiding strategic documents for the region, co-created with the people of Taranaki.

The project aims to strengthen and diversify the Taranaki economy and has taken input from a wide range of industry participants, from landowners to interested growers, manufacturers to food and fibre entrepreneurs, and potential investors.

Through a process of investigation, a shortlist of 10-12 feasible ventures has been selected. Crown Research Institutes, as well as universities including Massey, were engaged to provide robust research that underpins each venture selection. Work has also been undertaken with commercial partners to support the development of prototypes with significant market potential, and a core focus on sustainability and waste reduction.  

Branching Out’s investigations, collaborations, and potential commercial pilot opportunities for the region will be presented as venture blueprints later this year. The venture blueprints will build investor confidence and serve as an informative and inspirational roadmap to kick-start complementary land-based activities and associated value chain enterprises in Taranaki.

Invest in Taranaki’s food and fibre opportunities

Taranaki is renowned for its food production, from dairy and red meat to poultry, coffee and high-end baked goods. The region’s food and fibre sector contributes over $1.5B p.a. to our GDP, accounts for over 10,000 jobs, and has a long history of delivering domestic and international export products.

With rich volcanic soil, good water availability, and a temperate climate, there exists untapped potential for a range of complementary and sustainable food and fibre ventures.

Our strong entrepreneurial spirit here in Taranaki presents credible opportunities that are attractive to potential investors, and our enterprises and start-up community are actively seeking value-added food product opportunities.

Read more about our shortlist of high value, commercially viable ventures below.


Land Use Register 

The Branching Out project is looking to connect with landowners, and investors who may be considering complementary and / diverse uses for their land. By adding your details to this register we can: 

  • Link you with other like-minded landowners or producers based on geographical location, growing conditions or opportunity.
  • Understand the amount of land potentially available across our region. 
  • Invite growing groups (like Zespri) to the region to promote growing opportunities in new sectors.
  • Recommend or share relevant information that may assist you on your journey.
  • Keep you in the loop to present opportunities to diversify into other, complementary land uses based on geographical location or land suitability.  
  • Understand the regional potential for specific opportunities.

Taranaki Land and Climate Assessment

Venture Taranaki has released an assessment by Plant & Food Research on Taranaki’s land and climate, which provides an overview of our region’s growing capability, and the opportunity to help meet long-term goals of building diversity, value, sustainability, and market and supply-chain resilience.

 A key finding of the released Taranaki Land and Climate Assessment is that there are around 207,000 hectares of land potentially suitable for generic horticulture within the boundaries of the Taranaki Regional Council.

The eight mainstream crops covered in the assessment include apples, kiwifruit, avocados, blueberries, hops, hemp and CBD cannabis, hazelnuts and walnuts, potatoes, and wine grapes.

Taranaki Land and Climate Assessment
Providing Land Owners with a Down to Earth View of our Region's Growing Capability

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Taranaki Food Database

The Taranaki Food Database supports the development of our region’s food sector, helping to create resilient and growing enterprises and economies by connecting and unearthing future potential opportunities.

The Taranaki Food Database is open to all enterprises along the entirety of the food value chain, including growers, processors, products, and service providers. It allows our community to create connections and networks, which help foster an environment for food entrepreneurship and innovation to flourish.

Contact our Branching Out project lead

  • Michelle Bauer
Contact Michelle

Branching Out is funded by the region’s three district councils - New Plymouth District Council, South Taranaki District Council and Stratford District Council, and the Ministry of Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFFF). Significant in-kind support is provided by Venture Taranaki, Massey University, New Zealand’s Crown Research Institutes, and enterprises involved in Taranaki’s primary sector, and food and fibre industry.