Hort’s man­i­festo:

Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand’s five pri­or­i­ties in our election man­i­festo 2017 meet our:

NZ Grower - - Contents -

Hor­ti­cul­ture is a sig­nif­i­cant con­trib­u­tor to New Zealand’s eco­nomic well­be­ing as a $5.6 bil­lion dol­lar in­dus­try ($3.4 bil­lion fruit and veg­etable ex­ports to 124 coun­tries, and New Zealan­ders eat $2.2 bil­lion worth).

5,500 com­mer­cial fruit and veg­etable grow­ers farm 127,160 hectares and pro­vide 60,000 jobs. Suc­cess­ful, in­ter-gen­er­a­tional fam­ily busi­nesses pro­vide safe, healthy food for ev­ery­body, ev­ery day. They use sus­tain­able, en­vi­ron­men­tally sound

pro­duc­tion prac­tices that look af­ter the land for the fu­ture.

And hor­ti­cul­ture is grow­ing, fast. Ex­port value for the two year pe­riod from 2014 grew 40%. The world loves what we grow.

BIOSE­CU­RITY

Biose­cu­rity is con­sis­tently listed as the num­ber one con­cern for our grow­ers. As a coun­try heav­ily re­liant on pri­mary in­dus­tries, a dev­as­tat­ing pest or dis­ease could have an enor­mous im­pact on both in­di­vid­ual busi­nesses, fam­i­lies, com­mu­ni­ties, food sup­ply, and New Zealand’s eco­nomic well­be­ing. In hor­ti­cul­ture we have seen this with Psa, which rav­aged Bay of Plenty ki­wifruit or­chards in 2010 and is still cost­ing grow­ers to­day. We need Gov­ern­ment part­ner­ship and com­mit­ment for both ap­pro­pri­ate border con­trol and pre­pared­ness for po­ten­tial in­cur­sions.

FOOD SE­CU­RITY

Hor­ti­cul­ture is unique. Grow­ing land tends to be close to ur­ban ar­eas – for ease of get­ting fresh food to con­sumers in New Zealand and around the world. We have pock­ets of land rare in the world, in­clud­ing Pukekohe (near Auck­land) and sur­round­ing ar­eas, where soil and cli­mate allow year-round grow­ing of leafy green veg­eta­bles. We need to pro­tect this land for af­ford­able, year-round food pro­duc­tion. And we need sen­si­ble ac­cess to wa­ter, with­out which no food grows.

Our most valu­able grow­ing land is un­der threat from houses. While we un­der­stand New Zealand’s grow­ing pop­u­la­tion needs houses and that the fastest grow­ing pop­u­la­tion is in Auck­land, we want Gov­ern­ment to pause and think: How are we go­ing to feed the peo­ple in those houses? Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand is ad­vo­cat­ing for a food se­cu­rity pol­icy to bal­ance the needs of rapidly grow­ing ur­ban ar­eas, with the food bowls on their out­skirts. The less grow­ing land and the fur­ther away it is, the more ex­pen­sive healthy food be­comes.

De­ci­sions made by lo­cal gov­ern­ment about land and wa­ter use in one area can in fact, im­pact food sup­ply for the whole coun­try, as well as valu­able ex­ports that con­trib­ute so much to our econ­omy. As part of a food se­cu­rity pol­icy, we be­lieve there is a need for cen­tral Gov­ern­ment to be able to con­sider na­tional good, via a Na­tional En­vi­ron­men­tal Stan­dard, to pro­tect ac­cess to land and wa­ter for pri­mary pro­duc­ers.

WORK­FORCE CA­PA­BIL­ITY

Hor­ti­cul­ture is grow­ing faster than the pool of skilled labour. Hor­ti­cul­ture par­tic­i­pates in nu­mer­ous schemes to get New Zealan­ders into work, in­clud­ing peo­ple leav­ing pris­ons. We fo­cus on at­tract­ing and up­skilling New Zealan­ders first and we need the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem to be part of de­liv­er­ing peo­ple with the right skills for em­ploy­ment. Where we can­not find skilled work­ers, we sup­port im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies fo­cused on sup­ply­ing those work­ers, par­tic­u­larly in big hor­ti­cul­ture re­gions out­side Auck­land. We also re­quire sup­port for schemes to sup­ply sea­sonal labour dur­ing peak har­vest and prun­ing times, in­clud­ing the Recog­nised Sea­sonal Em­ployer (RSE) scheme, widely ac­knowl­edged as one of the most suc­cess­ful labour mo­bil­ity schemes in the world. Ben­e­fits are two-way – to the em­ploy­ers and com­mu­ni­ties in New Zealand that get sea­sonal work­ers from the Pa­cific Is­lands, and to the work­ers from the Pa­cific Is­lands who take home use­ful skills when their work sea­son in New Zealand is com­plete.

COUN­TRY OF ORI­GIN LA­BELLING (COOL)

An in­de­pen­dent Con­sumer NZ sur­vey showed that 71% of New Zealan­ders want manda­tory CoOL for fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles. The Con­sumers’ Right to Know (Coun­try of Ori­gin of Food) Bill has had its first read­ing in Par­lia­ment and is un­der con­sid­er­a­tion by Par­lia­men­tary Se­lect Com­mit­tee. We want to see this Bill progress into law be­cause peo­ple have a right to know where their food comes from.

HEALTHY EAT­ING ED­U­CA­TION

Un­der­stand­ing the value of healthy food for pos­i­tive life­long health out­comes needs to start young. Re­search sup­ported by veg­eta­bles.co.nz (car­ried out by Massey Univer­sity and the Heart Foun­da­tion) shows a gap in the food pro­grammes taught to Year 7 and 8 stu­dents in New Zealand schools – they are not con­sis­tently taught how to cook a healthy meal. De­vel­op­ing the abil­ity to pre­pare healthy meals will em­power our chil­dren and young peo­ple to be able to ac­cess and en­joy a nu­tri­tious diet within their bud­getary, cul­tural, so­cial and time con­straints, over a life­time. The school cur­ricu­lum is the most ap­pro­pri­ate place to teach and de­velop cook­ing lit­er­acy skills as it reaches all chil­dren and pro­vides cross-cul­tural learn­ing. We want the Gov­ern­ment to sup­port healthy eat­ing ed­u­ca­tion through the cur­ricu­lum.

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