Your levy at work
HORTNZ LEADS INDUSTRY WIDE ISSUES FOR INDUSTRY GOOD
Industry wide issues for industry good
Engagement with the New Zealand public is clearly showing its desire to have mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) Horticulture New Zealand told the Primary Production Select Committee at Parliament in May. The Select Committee was hearing submissions on the Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill before Parliament, in May and June. Hort NZ spoke to its submission for mandatory CoOL on fresh fruit and vegetables, which has been backed by 15 other grower groups and affiliates. President Julian Raine, chief executive Mike Chapman and biosecurity and trade policy manager Richard Palmer spoke about the results of the public survey on CoOL undertaken by Consumer NZ, as well as the public engagement via the Facebook page we have set up. That Facebook page has reached 660,000 people and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. They said the message from the public is clear and some of the objections being put forward don’t stack up.
Chief executive Mike Chapman was asked by media, including the New Zealand Herald and RNZ Rural News, how horticulture fared in the Budget 2017. He gave the Budget a “pass” mark for its plan to spend more on New Zealand’s biosecurity and infrastructure, but touched on concerns about losing land that we grow fruit and vegetables on to houses. This is a key issue that Horticulture New Zealand is addressing with media whenever we can.
Fresh Facts has a new edition out, showing that produce from the New Zealand horticulture industry is worth $8.7 billion a year, including more than $5 billion of exports, a new high.
“It’s exciting to see the horticulture industry is on track to meet its goal of $10 billion by 2020,” says Mike Chapman, chief executive of Horticulture New Zealand. “Our keen understanding of the global consumer and the commitment to quality at every stage of the value chain means our produce commands a premium in the marketplace, and this is reflected in the outstanding growth of the industry.” The booklet, produced by Plant & Food Research and supported by Horticulture New Zealand, is available online at www.freshfacts.co.nz
Thanks to feedback and input from employers and industry, Hort NZ has nominated two positions to be added to the Essential Skills in Demand April 2017 Review; these are agronomist/ farm manager, and sprayer/tractor
◀ CoOL in action in the United States. This photo taken in San Antonio Whole Foods. operator. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will review the nominations and select occupations for review. If our nominations are successful we will be seeking industry input for the evidence to support the review of these occupations, so watch this space.
Hort NZ biosecurity and trade policy manager Richard Palmer joined others from across industry, science, and government for a panel discussion on Biosecurity 2025 (B2025) in the biosecurity session on the opening day of the National Science Challenge Bioheritage Conference. Hort NZ director and Kiwifruit Vine Health chief executive Barry O’Neil also spoke to the challenges of protecting New Zealand. The panel discussed a range of the strategic directions in B2025, but most importantly the role of science and the need for a high quality science system with appropriate funding, including the raise in biosecurity science funding to $80 million.
Hort NZ attended the Zespri and Kiwifruit Vine Health brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) readiness workshop in May. This workshop gave insight to the detailed response needs on the ground, and developed the learnings from the Horticulture Industry Forum BMSB workshop earlier in the year. Fortunately, a number of New Zealanders have been particularly eagle-eyed on BMSB over the summer, and helped to mitigate the potential for incursion. Now is our time to ensure we are well prepared for the next BMSB high-risk season, and a significant number of sectors have been developing the BMSB Operational Agreement with MPI.
Hort NZ has worked with NZ Avocado, NZ Citrus Growers, Kiwifruit Vine Health, and NZ Feijoa Growers to confirm the measures that growers can take to support the myrtle rust response. Myrtle rust information is available on the Hort NZ website under Biosecurity. See further coverage in this magazine.
Hort NZ, together with a number of commercial horticultural businesses, attended the second Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) workshop looking at possible changes to the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987. The workshop explored the key themes of breeding definition and distinctiveness, extension of rights to harvested material, compulsory licensing, farm saved seed, and the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). Hort NZ is keen to hold an industry workshop with MBIE to ensure growers’ views are heard. If you are interested in being involved please contact Richard Palmer. There is further detail in this magazine. NATURAL RESOURCES
Horticulture New Zealand visited Opotiki in May, talking to kiwifruit growers and regional and district councils in preparation for the upcoming Opotiki District Plan.
The Natural Resources and Environment team attended a workshop hosted by the Horizons Regional Council to discuss the recent proceedings in the Environment Court and the process going forward for the land use consents under the Horizons One Plan.
Whangarei District Council has sent a letter to people who submitted on the plan changes regarding the upcoming hearings. Hort NZ will be presenting at the hearings.
After discussions with the Land and Water Forum and receiving feedback from various groups, HortNZ finalised our submission on the 2017 amendments to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. We received a great amount of support for our submission from various product groups, district associations, and corporate groups. A copy of our submission is available on our website.
HortNZ has submitted on a discussion document about the Government’s proposed Urban Development Authorities legislation that would allow nationally or locally significant urban development projects to be fast-tracked. Our main concern in this submission is ensuring the legislation has appropriate checks that prevent it being applied to enable inappropriate greenfields development on land
with high production potential. A copy of our submission is in the Natural Resources section of the HortNZ website.
Young Grower of the Year has a brand new website, covering everything you need to know about the programme. You can check it out at www.younggroweroftheyear.co.nz
Horticulture New Zealand continues to call for Leadership Programme applications. This is a real opportunity to develop your skills, meet some other great people in your industry, and broaden your horizons. Go to the HortNZ website or call Sue Pickering on 021 938 825 for more details.
After a tough selection process, the successful recipients for the three NZ Horticentre Trust scholarships are Megan Becker and Heyden Keyte from Massey University, and Taylor Farr of Waikato University. The three HortNZ Undergraduate Scholarships go to Geoffrey Bernsten and Sarah Ross from Massey, and Thomas Scott from Lincoln University.
Corrections, the Ministry for Social Development, and HortNZ have been busy visualising the story around exoffenders taking up careers in the horticulture sector. Material will be developed to show inmates the possibilities that exist in our industry. One of the public viewings will be at a breakfast held by Corrections in Wellington in June, at which the Corrections Minister Louise Upston and Prime Minister Bill English will be in attendance.
The Vegetable + Other Fruit Industry partnership group, led by Hort NZ with strong support from Vegetables New Zealand, is proud to announce that the target of 175 Level 2 to 4 qualifications in the vegetable sector set for the Primary ITO has been exceeded by 25% (219 total). Well done to the Primary ITO, and the vegetable growers supporting the development of their people.
The Horticulture Conference is the annual opportunity for industry to get together and share ideas, learn about innovation to improve their business, hear inspirational and influential speakers, connect, and socialise. It is the place to be. American food and agribusiness expert Roland Fumasi has been announced as one of the keynote speakers. Dr Fumasi is a vicepresident, senior analyst and manager for RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group. He joins an illustrious line-up of more home grown talent, including Dr Jacqueline Rowarth, chief scientist of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Tiaki Hunia, chair of the Maori Kiwifruit Growers Forum and deputy chair of Te Tumu Paeroa, Rachel Taulelei, the founder of Yellow Brick Road and the first female chief executive of Kono, one of the country’s largest food and beverage exporters, and more.