Poaka, kikomanu, ahu pī me ētahi atu

Pork, poultry, bees and other


average workforce


of total food and fibre workforce


in poultry meat production are managers


of eggs come from 20 farms

What is the pork, poultry, bees and other sector?

Pork, poultry, bees and other includes pig farming, poultry farming and processing, beekeeping, horse farming, hunting and trapping and other livestock farming not classified elsewhere, such as alpacas.

This information expands on and interprets our data visualisation for all sectors, which can be filtered by sector and parts of it, like processing or production.

How many work in pork, poultry, bees and other?

Data for year ending 31 March 2022.
Data for year ending 31 March 2022.
Designation Count
Core production 9,167
Core processing/production 3,458
Strongly connected 13,975
Total 26,542

Designation workforce counts won't necessarily sum to the total - some people may work in more than one designation. The total indicates the overall unique average number of people who work in the sector. 

Seasonal change: Workforce over a year

Our data visualisations show average workforce counts across a year for the pork, poultry, bees and other sector.

Roles and skill levels

MPI and NZIER's report 'The food and fibre workforce: Data on its size and composition' from June 2022 sets out the proportion of managers, semi-autonomous and managed staff in the pork, poultry, bees and other sector.


Core production – meat

Most poultry meat farms are within an hour’s drive of the processor. Processors provide birds and farmers fund the infrastructure and land. Farmers must abide by strict company policies around light, heating and animal welfare.

Poultry farms are capital intensive. They usually have an owner-operator, two workers and around 250,000 chickens. Around a third of staff are managers and the rest managed, reflecting the owner-operator model.

Core processing/manufacturing – meat

Industry operators primarily process live poultry (including chickens, turkeys and ducks) into cuts and value-added processed poultry products. Industry activity includes abattoir operation and dressing to poultry meat and frozen poultry manufacturing and packing. Almost all workers are managed with a small number of semi-autonomous staff with specialisms such as hygiene.

Production and processing/manufacturing – eggs

There are around 160 farms in the egg-laying business, but 85% of eggs come from 20 farms.

An owner and part-time workers often staff many smaller farms. Large farms may have around 200 workers over several sites. Most staff are managed.


Core production – beekeeping

Apiculture New Zealand provided workforce skill composition estimates.

The common owner-operator model means around half of workers are managers, with around a third semi-autonomous.

Beekeeping uses around 200 part-year workers in February and March for honey extraction.

Core processing/manufacturing – honey

100% Pure New Zealand Honey estimates 100 companies in honey processing. Many businesses are small, so the proportion of managers is high.

Businesses included in the pork, poultry, bees and other sectors

Core production

Poultry farming (meat)
Poultry farming (eggs)
Horse farming
Pig farming
Other livestock farming
Hunting and trapping

Core processing/manufacturing

Poultry processing

Strongly connected

Other food product manufacturing
Other agricultural product wholesaling