We should sign up to GIA

NZ Grower - - PRODUCT GROUPS - Non-sig­na­tory sig­na­tory

In De­cem­ber 2013 the Min­is­ter for Pri­mary In­dus­tries, Nathan Guy, an­nounced that the Govern­ment In­dus­try Agree­ment (GIA) Deed had been ap­proved by Cab­i­net.

For this rea­son GIA will pro­ceed, and to re­sist will be less ben­e­fi­cial than to pro­ceed, in spite of what some grow­ers feel.

The govern­ment cur­rently un­der­takes all biose­cu­rity de­ci­sion-mak­ing and bears all the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and costs, but un­der GIA de­ci­sion-mak­ing, re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and costs would be shared.

There­fore we, as a sec­tor, must de­cide what GIA op­tion is best for us. Process Veg­eta­bles New Zealand (PVNZ) is a small prod­uct group fi­nan­cially, com­pared for ex­am­ple, to the ki­wifruit, pipfruit, dairy and forestry prod­uct groups. So in a prac­ti­cal and fi­nan­cial sense, it is a marginal de­ci­sion as to whether we should sign up to GIA or not.

There are costs in­volved in be­ing part of a GIA agree­ment, and there are also ben­e­fits to be­ing around the de­ci­sion­mak­ing ta­ble. The ben­e­fit par­tic­u­larly comes into play if there is a pest or virus in­cur­sion. PVNZ would be part of the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process and cost shar­ing. But if we are not part of GIA the full cost re­cov­ery of an in­cur­sion re­sponse would be paid for by grow­ers.

The Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries (MPI) can im­pose a biose­cu­rity levy on grow­ers whether they are part of a GIA agree­ment or not. The dif­fer­ence is that grow­ers would pay 100% of the costs and have no in­flu­ence in that de­ci­sion-mak­ing process, whereas grow­ers would in­cur 50% or less of the costs, de­pend­ing on the cir­cum­stances.

_____________________________________________________________ GIA (Govern­ment In­dus­try Agree­ments on biose­cu­rity) has been on the govern­ment’s agenda for sev­eral years. It was started un­der the last Labour govern­ment and was pro­gressed by the cur­rent Na­tional govern­ment.

As chair­man of PVNZ, I be­lieve the pru­dent thing to do is to sign the GIA Deed. But we need to de­ter­mine which would be the most prac­ti­cal and fi­nan­cially pru­dent struc­ture for our mem­bers. There are sev­eral op­tions:

Op­tion 1: PVNZ be­comes an in­de­pen­dent in­cor­po­rated so­ci­ety.

Be­com­ing an in­de­pen­dent in­cor­po­rated so­ci­ety would en­able us to sign a deed in our own right. How­ever, set­ting up and man­ag­ing a so­ci­ety is ex­pen­sive, and I be­lieve this cost is un­nec­es­sary as there are bet­ter ways to use levy money other than on ex­tra ad­min­is­tra­tion costs.

Al­ter­na­tively we can be a co-sig­na­tory to a Deed with an­other group that is a le­gal en­tity. There are two op­tions here: We can ei­ther be rep­re­sented by a pro­posed FAR (Foun­da­tion for Arable Re­search) le­gal en­tity, or by Horticulture New Zealand which is an in­cor­po­rated so­ci­ety.

Op­tion 2: Join Hortnz for GIA

There are sev­eral pos­si­ble ways that rep­re­sen­ta­tion by Horticulture New Zealand could work:

• Hortnz could be a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a col­lec­tive of prod­uct groups, but would not it­self be a sig­na­tory.

• Hortnz could be a sig­na­tory for a col­lec­tive of prod­uct groups, with each group hav­ing one vote.

• Hortnz could be a sig­na­tory and rep­re­sen­ta­tive for in­di­vid­ual groups, who would have mul­ti­ple votes.

Hortnz can of­fer a sin­gle over­head and ad­min­is­tra­tion struc­ture for GIA pur­poses to min­imise the costs. Hortnz could also con­trib­ute time, ef­fort and ac­tiv­ity in a pan-sec­tor biose­cu­rity role, and as part of the min­i­mum com­mit­ments for GIA. The sig­na­tory is re­spon­si­ble for Deed Gov­er­nance, reg­u­lar en­gage­ment with MPI and for biose­cu­rity sys­tems de­vel­op­ment.

Hortnz would work with in­dus­try to im­prove biose­cu­rity risk aware­ness. For ex­am­ple the cur­rent work be­ing un­der­taken to min­imise the risk of

Process Veg­eta­bles NZ

Chair­man

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