Make your vote count
We are seeking mandate for new commodity levies so that we can continue the work we do for growers.
Horticulture New Zealand takes an industry-wide approach to access to land, water and people to enable you to grow. Hort NZ also covers biosecurity and trade from an industry perspective and gives growers a united voice with decision-makers in central Government.
The vegetable product groups (Onions NZ, TomatoesNZ, Vegetables NZ and Process Vegetables NZ) do work specific to their industry like product-specific research and development, promotion and market access.
Growers will be sent voting papers for Horticulture New Zealand and each vegetable product group that you have paid a levy to in the past 12 months. To be approved, each commodity levy proposal must be supported by a majority of voters, measured both on a ‘one grower one vote’ basis and a weighted/value basis.
The referendum is not a choice about voting for one or the other – a vote for each of your vegetable product groups and Horticulture New Zealand is needed to maintain the support you receive today.
Voting on the commodity levy referendum for Horticulture New Zealand and the vegetable product groups runs from 2 July through to 13 August. In your voting pack there will be instructions on how to cast your vote online, or by post. If you do not receive your voting instructions during the voting period please You will need to be the person responsible for levy voting in your organisation.
Further information about Horticulture New Zealand and the vegetable product group levy proposals can be found on their websites, or by calling 0508 467 869, or emailing info@hortnz. co.nz.
Please remember, without your support our work for growers may not be able to continue. If the vote is not successful then the groups will have no mechanism for funding beyond May 2019 and will have to consider their position.
Why do growers need Horticulture New Zealand? Growers need a pan-sector voice. A voice that will be speak up and fight for the growers when they need it. A voice to comment on and develop robust and credible policy, to advocate for them, promote the industry and enable growers to get on with what they do best, grow fruit and vegetables. To provide the base of core activities that are common to all fruit and vegetable growers.
So in short, create an enduring environment where growers can prosper.
What is Horticulture New Zealand proposing to change this levy round and why?
We are proposing to keep the levy rate at 14c/$100 which is the same levy rate for the past year. In 2017 the directors decided we should reduce the levy but still deliver the same or a better service for our levy payers. I feel we have achieved this and will continue to deliver better value to you as the horticulture sector continues to grow. In short, we intend to more of the same to enable you to continue to grow.
As chair of Horticulture New Zealand what are your highlights from the last 5 years?
For me, the main highlight over the last five years has been a steady and continual improvement of Horticulture New Zealand’s performance. This has been achieved by a persistent focus on doing the things that matter well, being conscious of getting the best value for growers for money spent. Other highlights include:
• Being part of the continued growth in the sector.
• Gaining capacity and expertise in our core areas of activity and being recognised as a credible voice for horticulture in Wellington and around the regions.
• Telling the “Horticulture Story” better and building solid relationships both within the sector and across other primary groups.
• Celebrating excellence and success within the industry with Young Grower of the Year competitions and our annual awards
• Supporting over 200 young people with scholarships, bursaries and our in-house leadership programme
And finally working with a great group of directors, CEO and staff that work together as a champion team.
What excites you about the future of the horticulture industry?
The horticulture industry is going from strength to strength. And as we all know “success has also bred success”. Horticulture has been innovative and successful despite most export markets being some distance away. In a number of our crops we are rated as #1 in the world. A ranking that has been the result of a combination of factors. One of the most important factors is that the New Zealand horticulture industry is being trusted by our consumers wherever they may be and for very sound reasons. Our skill, knowledge and growing conditions give us a great edge. Our crops are quite rightly seen as healthy and good for you. Demand is steadily growing both in New Zealand and around the world. I’m very proud of our industry and to be part of it. >
Why do growers need TomatoesNZ?
Growers need a voice. In particular, growers need a voice to government and they need a voice with biosecurity to ensure we have good plans in place and are prepared.
We need a coordinated approach to create scale in dealing with issues like market access. Collectively we can do things growers can’t do by themselves.
Importantly, we need a voice and scale to continue to have the right to farm. We can never take that for granted. It’s important we protect our social license to grow tomatoes.
What is TomatoesNZ proposing to change this levy round and why?
We’re proposing to lift the ceiling for the levy rate. This was lowered during the last levy referendum because we had significant reserves on hand. We’ve been operating on a deficit budget over the past six years and now the reserves are around a year’s operating expenses, which is where we want it to be. Now we have the reserves at a manageable level we can’t keep operating on a deficit budget year on year, so we need a mechanism to raise the levy if it’s needed and if we have agreement from tomato growers.
Growers need to know that the levy rate can only rise if it’s agreed by them at an AGM vote.
We are also proposing to add biosecurity into our remit. It is vitally important we commit levy funds for ongoing biosecurity readiness activities. There’s also a change in the level of detail levy collection agents are required to share with us. This is so we can ensure we know all our growers and can communicate with them easily on tomato industry specific issues.
As chair of TomatoesNZ what are your highlights from the last five years?
Raising the awareness that all imported tomatoes from Australia have been treated with radiation has been important, and it continues to be as consumers want to know this.
Also the level of cohesion around the board table. I have been impressed that everyone leaves their own agenda at the door and comes focused on what’s good for growers’ right across the sector. It’s this attitude that helps to protect the tomato industry and foster growth.
What excites you about the future of the fresh tomato industry?
The fact that I do believe we’ve built a platform for growth and what excites me is there is a significant commitment to export now. And that’s export into high value markets. We’re seeing more focus going into selling speciality tomatoes into the export market and people are prepared to pay a premium. Really the way to grow the value of the sector is through the bigger players exporting and we’re seeing this.
Why do growers need Onions NZ and what are some of your highlights as the chair?
Onions NZ successfully brings together onion growers and exporters to focus on industry good issues that are critical to the long term development and sustainability of the industry. We concentrate on those issues which cannot be managed by private interests but are important to ensuring a profitable industry. The key issues include:
• Market Access – with a dynamic international market place it is important that the ability to continue to export to existing markets is maintained, while at the same time new markets are made available. As European market opportunities have changed Onions NZ has been very focused on Asia. Our positive efforts developing the Indonesian market and the fact that we are now negotiating with China is the result of the persistent hard work of Onions NZ. We have an active market strategy which assesses the risks and opportunities of all potential markets.
• Research - 30% of our budget is invested in research to support the production of sustainable high quality onions. The funds raised from growers and exporters is leveraged with additional government funding to increase the total funding available.
• Food safety - consumers that are willing to pay good prices want to have confidence that the food they eat is safe from disease and residue. This puts the spotlight on production systems, the use of chemicals, and the ability of the grower to guarantee the safety of food produced. To help the industry stay ahead of the game Onions NZ is looking to invest in a project to provide advice and systems to assist growers and exporters to meet increasingly demanding consumer requirements. • Biosecurity - the entry of an unwanted pest or disease is a significant risk to the industry…not only will it impact on production but it could close markets. Onions NZ has spent considerable energy engaging with government and other industry sectors under GIA to get the industry into a position where it is as prepared as possible to manage the entry of an unwanted “nasty”.
Effective communication with all key stakeholders is important to be successful as an industry organisation. Looking at the list of key activities outlined it is clear the role government plays in securing the successful future of the industry. It is critical that the industry continues to maintain a positive profile with government and build trust and confidence with all its key players. Equally important is keeping growers and exporters informed on the activities being undertaken on their behalf.
What is Onions NZ proposing to change this levy round and why?
Onions NZ is proposing to include biosecurity into the activities the levy will fund. The other change is a requirement for grower contact details to be made available so we’re able to communicate with all our growers. We are planning to maintain the current maximum levy rate at $4/metric tonne.
What excites you about the future of the onion industry?
Onions NZ has, in my view, been extremely successful in advancing the interests of its grower and exporter members…however the job is not done and I would urge that you continue your support by ticking yes in the commodity levy referendum. >
Why do growers need Vegetables NZ and what are some of the highlights since the last referendum?
The Vegetables NZ Inc. (VNZI) Board have made significant progress in the past six years with the product group becoming an incorporated society. This has enabled the Vegetables NZ board and its members to become GIA Biosecurity partners along with 14 other horticultural product groups including the two largest, Kiwifruit Vine Health and NZ Apples and Pears. There has also been significant investment in research to improve crop yields and quality and science support for resource management and compliance negotiations.
Vegetables NZ Inc. & Vegetables Research & Innovation (VR&I) board partnership - currently Vegetables New Zealand Inc. has invested $242,000 in specific VNZI research projects with an additional $733,000 from external funders. Also VNZI through the VR&I board has invested $185,000 with our VR&I partners on multiproduct group research projects, while over the past six years the VNZI Board has invested more than $1.25m (with an additional $3m in external government funding). This support has enabled the successful completion of more than 30 research projects and a number of others still in progress including:
• Nutrient management for improved vegetable production
• Brassica pest, natural diseases and disorders IPM manual update
• Fluxmeter use to determine the water uptake of crops
• Maximising the value of irrigation techniques to reduce cost and wastage
• Nitrogen "Quick Test" module testing
• Silt and topsoil run-off management
• PGP long-term sustainable pest management for crop protection
• Continued monitoring of biosecurity risks for crop protection
• Water – sanitiser / discharge monitoring for improved crop quality and yield
• Reassessment of agrichemicals for long term solutions to pest, disease and virus control
• Tamarixia trials and release as an alternative to agrichemical controls
• Fruit fly and brown marmorated stink bug surveillance and management
• Cadmium management levels in leafy greens
• Virus control management in lettuce crops
• White fly control in covered crops
New Zealand Vegetable Promotions - Vegetables New Zealand Inc. funded over $300,000 per year for the past six years towards joint fresh vegetable promotional activities. The fresh vegetables promotional committee (vegetables. co.nz) develops, sources and provides extensive vegetable promotional material for the retail, educational and health sectors.
The forward thinking ‘kids can cook’ programme is creating exciting opportunities to teach our future consumers how to use and prepare vegetables.
This promotional investment, along with progressive initiatives undertaken by growers, has led to continued growth over 70% in the past 10 years from $250m to $340m (projected 2018 financial year).
Agrichemical Reassessment Programme and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - Vegetables New Zealand Inc. invested, and will continue to invest and manage, a process for collating agrichemical data use relating to over 50 vegetable crops.
VNZI supports submissions to the EPA for a range of agrichemicals used by vegetable growers.
Resource Management Act (RMA) - Vegetables New Zealand Inc. allocates levy funding for the researching of RMA and NRE (Natural Resources & Environment) support data and information in submissions to government specifically on behalf of fresh vegetable growers.
NZ GAP - along with other vegetable product groups, Vegetables New Zealand Inc. initiated the NZGAP programme and will continue to support this successful programme to enhance better growing practices and maintain quality standards for our consumers.
Education & Training - Vegetables NZ Inc. is a contributor on the Human Capability Group (HCG) to develop and implement a horticulture strategy to attract, develop and retain horticulture’s future leaders and skilled workers. The HCG aims to influence the policies of key stakeholders, including the TEC, Primary ITO and government.
Government Industry Agreement (GIA) - Vegetables NZ Inc. signed the GIA Deed for Biosecurity Readiness and Response to ensure the vegetable industry sector is better prepared for any pest or disease incursion.
Under the GIA Deed, the signing of an operational agreement entitles VNZI to negotiate costs and the course of action for any incursion. To date VNZI has signed operational agreements for fruit fly and brown marmorated stink bug.
How will the Vegetables NZ Inc. commodity levy be used?
The commodity levy will be used to fund the following activities:
• Research and science support
• Export market development
• Fresh vegetable promotional activity
• Quality assurance
• Education and training
• Biosecurity activities
• Management & administration of Vegetables NZ Inc.
What does the future hold?
It is Vegetables NZ Inc. responsibility to manage key issues, opportunities and trends that affect the fresh vegetable sector both now and into the future.
A successful levy vote this year for VNZI and Hort NZ will ensure VNZI can continue its work on behalf of you, our growers. >
HORTICULTURE NEW ZEALAND JULIAN RAINE, PRESIDENT
021 443 993 firstname.lastname@example.org
◀ Alasdair MacLeod, right, is pictured with former Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.
◀ Owen Symmans, left, is pictured with Primary Industries Minister Damien O'Connor in Pukekohe.
ANDRE DE BRUIN, CHAIR 027 272 4239 Andre.email@example.com