Legends of the Industry

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Economic Contribution of the New Zealand Possum Fur Industry



The New Zealand Fur Council was established to act as one voice for the wider possum-fur/skin industry. Its prime purpose is to promote industry growth through continued access to raw mate-rials, which are a by product of ongoing conservation programs to protect New Zealand fauna, flora and native wild life species such as the iconic New Zealand Kiwi.

Over the last year the NZ Fur council has been working closely with NEW ZEALAND'S DEPART-MENT OF CONSERVATION. The outcome of this collaboration was a signed Memorandum of understanding to enhance conservation outcomes through increased trapping of possums for natural heritage protection. The outcome for the industry is increased volumes of raw material to meet increasing demand for Possum apparel and accessories.



The New Zealand possum fur industry currently generates retail sales of possum- related garments of between $100 and $150 million per year, with international tourists accounting for 85% of total retail sales. The industry employs about 1,500 workers. It also contributes to the conservation of natural flora and fauna through the reduction of approximately 2 million possums per year. The industry seeks consents to double the volume of possum takes and the production of possum-related garments.

Expansion in the possum fur industry will add $58.5 million and 760 jobs to the New Zealand economy each year

The supply of hides and skins grows by $10.1 million (1.7%), while supplies of yarn and wool in-crease by $9.9 million (1.6%) and $6.6 million (0.3%) respectively. The largest direct impact is on the retail sector: $13.4 million (0.05%).

The entire services sector expands as a result of possum fur industry expansion. For example, property and business services expand by $31.7 million (0.01%) and the electricity, gas and water sector benefits from increased usage ($9.1 million). Other services sectors that expand include in-surance ($7.9 million), freight and transport ($3.3 million) and communication services ($2.4 mi-llion). Grocery wholesaling grows by $27.9 million (0.08%) through higher household income, which in turn is driven higher employment and increased returns to both capital and land.

There will also likely be additional benefits that are outside the scope of this modelling exercise, such as improved preservation of New Zealand’s national forest.

It is estimated that there are approximately 35 million possums in NZ. With no natural predators New Zealand faces gradual ecological destruction every night from the introduced Australian Brushtail Possum. While possums feed mainly on leaves, they are also known to take buds and flowers, fruits, ferns, bark, fungi, invertebrates, native birds and eggs, land snails and carrion which adversely affects our native flora and fauna.

As a by product of conservation programs, Possum fur is particularly suited to luxury natural yarn blends with wool and/or cashmere for apparel, accessories and woven scarves and throws that benefit from it's light weight and hollow core. Unique attributes include :


Fur Industry News Worldwide
by RB Media Group
Posted: December 12, 2015