Make your vote count

We are seek­ing man­date for new com­mod­ity levies so that we can con­tinue the work we do for grow­ers.

NZ Grower - - Contents -

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.

High­lights in­clude:

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 raine@ts.co.nz

◀ 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.de­bruin@xtra.co.nz

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