An exciting future is yours in the food and fibre sectors

A drone pilot working in a field

The food and fibre sectors offer a range of rewarding careers for everyone.

Careers in the food and fibre sectors

When you think about careers in the New Zealand food and fibre sectors, you might imagine hands-on work in:

  • horticulture (fruit, grains and vegetables)
  • meat, wool and leather
  • dairy
  • seafood
  • forestry. 

That’s just one part of the food and fibre story. These sectors urgently need people who can work in:

  • animal care
  • artificial intelligence and data
  • environmental engineering
  • food technology
  • business consulting
  • mechanical engineering
  • robotics engineering
  • sales and marketing
  • trade negotiation and exporting
  • transport - driving trucks and flying planes and drones. 

When you work in the food and fibre sectors, you’re helping create products that make up three-quarters of New Zealand’s exports.

Business, science and technology skills in demand

Changes are happening in the food and fibre sectors due to:

  • climate change
  • demand for clean and sustainable ways to grow our food
  • demand for plant-based products
  • global competition for products
  • population growth.

If you have skills in business, science and technology, you’ll be in demand to help make these changes to the sectors.

New jobs are being created in:

  • agricultural and horticultural technology
  • biotechnology
  • engineering
  • finance and business
  • information technology
  • research and product development.

With these skills you’ll be able to find new solutions to growing food while protecting the environment and animal welfare.

You’ll also help design and sell interesting new products that could boost New Zealand’s economy.

50,000 workers needed by 2025

It doesn’t matter if you live in the city or the country, the food and fibre sectors need a wide range of skilled people. In fact 50,000 workers are needed by 2025. 

You could work in a lab in the city designing robots that pick fruit, or collect honey from hives in the countryside. 

Opportunities are also good for people wanting to progress their career. For example, if you start as a farm assistant you can easily grow your career to become a farm manager or agricultural consultant.

Find out more about food and fibre jobs

Check out some of these exciting roles in demand: 


  • Dalziel, P, Saunders, C, and Saunders, J, ‘The New Zealand Food and Fibre Sector: A Situational Analysis,’ December 2018, (
  • Growing New Zealand website, accessed 14 August 2019, (
  • Hansford, D, ‘Farming for our Future’, March-April 2018, (
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, ‘New Zealand Manufacturing Sector Report 2018. Beyond Commodities: Manufacturing into the future,’ accessed August 2018, (
  • Ministry for Primary Industries, ‘Growing our Future’, 27 June 2019, (
  • Ministry for Primary Industries, ‘Primary Industries Workforce Factsheet’, March 2019, (

Updated 7 Oct 2019