With an ideal combination of temperate climate, plentiful rain, and fertile volcanic soils it comes as no surprise things grow well in Taranaki.

Historically the region is known for farming, in particular its thriving dairy industry. And while dairy, cheese, red meat and poultry are cornerstone contributors to the Taranaki economy, comprising some 90% of the region’s total food production, there are smaller, innovative food producing businesses emerging and putting Taranaki on the map for more than dairy alone.

Niche sectors like honey, coffee, craft alcohol, fresh produce and baked goods are not only adding choice and a Taranaki flavour to menus nationally and internationally, they are also contributing to the region’s bottom line. Food adds over $340 million to annual regional GDP and 4,300 jobs. Food production represents more than half of Taranaki’s manufacturing base – one of the highest proportions in the country.

These niche producers and passionate innovators are increasingly adding a new dimension to the makeup of Taranaki’s food industry. The region is transitioning from being an economy that prides itself on growing ‘great food’ to a more market-led, value-add culture. From the communities that sprung up around early dairy factories throughout Taranaki to the huge dairy production operations of today, from Chew Chong’s edible fungus exports – the region’s first ‘black gold’ – to New Zealand’s oldest organic brewery, or from finely-crafted coffee to world-leading engineering solutions, our food producers and production have grown up alongside the region.

Major food production firms as well as iconic brands have established their production facilities in Taranaki, and an increasing number of innovative companies have chosen the region from which to carve their mark in this sector.

While the combination of dairy, red meat and poultry food production remains both our strength and speciality, Taranaki is ready to also meet the demand for consumers the world over as they seek greater insight into their food production, greater benefits from their food in terms of nutrition and convenience, and of course great taste.