Your levy at work
Hortnz leads industry wide issues for industry good
Election – The Horticulture New Zealand Board received nominations for four candidates for the three positions available to be elected to the board this year, so there will be an election. The candidates are: Tony Howey, vegetable grower, Canterbury. Terry Olsen, potato grower, Manawatu (HortNZ director) Julian Raine, fruit and berry grower, Nelson (HortNZ president) • Leon Stallard, pipfruit grower,
Hawke's Bay Voting papers will be sent to all growers next week and voting closes on May 30. Results will be announced on June 6. The election will be run by Electionz. com. They will send out voting papers and also email voting reminders to growers who we have email addresses for. There is more information about the candidates in this magazine. April Board Meeting – HortNZ's board received a briefing from Natural Resources and Environment Manager Chris Keenan on nutrient allocations and how the Fresh Water Management National Policy Statement requires regional councils to set outcomes for fresh water and quantitative limits for both water quality and quantity. Chris also told the board about the Environment Canterbury (ECan)
“Look Up Table/Matrix of Good Management Practice”
project and its relevance to growers. With the support of the vegetable product groups, the board has agreed to commit $30,000 over two years from the ‘Special Vegetable Fund' to support this project. There is national consensus that farmers and growers should, as a minimum, be applying good management practice (GMP). Horticulture along with a number of other industry groups has been approached to support and contribute funding to the project that will: Allow farmers and growers to assess and compare nitrogen and phosphorus losses Allow Environment Canterbury to assess compliance at farm and catchment level Create a template for both central and local government so that we will not be required to repeat the process of development elsewhere around the country. Future Focus – The board discussed the findings of the industry working group's report into HortNZ's structure and board election processes. The key finding was “radical change is neither required nor supported by the wider industry” but that a number of changes should be made to improve the operation of HortNZ and align with the current industry position.These findings are outlined in this magazine. Financials – levy income is higher than budgeted largely due to recovery of the kiwifruit industry and the strong performance from the pipfruit, onion and other sectors in 2013. However, HortNZ expenditure is also higher than budgeted mainly due to costs around the Ruataniwha Dam project, as we co-ordinated (on behalf of a range of submitters who also shared costs) an extensive amount of science and economic work to support our submissions.
Congratulations – HortNZ congratulates the Avocado Industry Council on achieving support for the New Zealand horticulture industry's first independent Primary Growth Partnership project, called Go Global. HortNZ president Julian Raine says this is a game-changing achievement for New Zealand avocado growers and for the wider horticulture industry. The PGP fund is designed to support long-term collaborative projects between industry and government which will increase productivity and profitability.The Go Global programme's vision is to equip the industry with the tools to triple productivity to 12 tonnes per hectare and quadruple industry returns to $280 million by 2023.
Q-fly The Sequel – HortNZ described the detection of a second Queensland Fruit Fly earlier this month (found on April Fools' Day) as “unbelievable and unexpected”. Read our release here: www.hortnz.co.nz. It was a shock to find ourselves working through this type of crisis again, so soon after the last detection (eight weeks) and the third in two years. The only good part about it is that we are getting to know the Ministry for Primary Industries' approach, processes and staff and they are getting to know us – all of industry – much better too. HortNZ chief executive Peter Silcock and Barry O'Neil of Kiwifruit Vine Health were invited to attend the regular MPI Response Strategic Leadership meetings as industry observers. This
has now become standard practice for these responses, as have the daily liaison teleconference calls hosted by MPI for industry. In the early stages of a detection there can be more than 30 people on these calls. Peter, HortNZ president Julian Raine and communications manager Leigh Catley fronted numerous media interviews. There was more media attention for this detection than the last, because it was so close to the last. The media, like the rest of us, feared it may not be the last. HortNZ has been supportive of the MPI response. We believe MPI did a good job and followed international best practice in trying to establish if there are any more Q-flies controlling the movement of host material out of the control zone (1.5 km radius) and preparing to scale up should more flies be found. But, MPI needs to urgently review and strengthen our border protection systems with a particular focus around passengers and vessels (including pleasure craft). We need to respond to the changing situation in Australia and look at what we can do to manage this risk offshore rather than in our trapping system. MPI needs to fully engage the industry organisations in that review to ensure that the industry has confidence the risk of Q-flies is being managed appropriately. Growers called and emailed HortNZ agreeing with the Labour Party Primary Industries' spokesperson Damien O'Connor, that we should ban all imports from Australia. HortNZ agrees we have to make some changes to our border protection, but banning Aussie product isn't the way to go. There are several reasons why we say this:
BIG1. We have confidence in the extensive protocols we have in place, the treatments and inspections that commercial fruit fly host produce imports must undergo. 2. The information we have does not lead us to think that commercial shipments of host produce are the pathways for the recent detections in Whangarei. 3. New Zealand horticulture relies on 120 countries to keep their doors open for our products. We have a reputation as a fair and sciencebased trader. Actions which could be perceived by some to be ‘knee jerk' or ‘tit for tat' would not enhance our image. HortNZ remains very concerned that this was the third Q-fly detection response in 18 months. This is not acceptable to New Zealand growers or New Zealand taxpayers. At a cost of roughly $2 million per clean-up, this is not something any of us want to be doing every six months. Meanwhile… horticulture industry product groups kiwifruit, pipfruit, summerfruit, citrus, tomatoes, fresh vegetable, winegrowers and HortNZ have met Ministry for Primary Industry officials as the Interim Fruit Fly Council. The council aims to develop a draft Fruit Fly Operational Agreement under the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) structure that can then be considered by signatory organisations (product groups and MPI). HortNZ chief executive Peter Silcock attended to represent the smaller industry groups that are not directly represented on the council. The council noted that each product group is at a very different stage in terms of their consideration of GIA, some are quite advanced; seeking member mandate and discussing the establishment of biosecurity levies while others are still gathering information and some are waiting to see how other groups progress. The council has agreed that it is important to engage with all parties with an interest in fruit fly management no matter what stage they are at with GIA during the development of the fruit fly operational agreement.
Product group meeting hears from MPI chief
The new head of the Ministry for Primary Industries, Martyn Dunne, took his place on the frontline for his organisation in Wellington recently when he fronted up to the HortNZ product group meeting. Mr Dunne was already scheduled to speak to the meeting, attended by representatives from 17 of the 22 product groups affiliated to HortNZ, before the discovery of the Q-fly in Whangarei. Not surprisingly Mr Dunne, who was accompanied by chief operations officer Andrew Coleman, were required to answer a range of questions about MPI's approach to the response and its handling of border protection issues. Mike Chapman of New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc asked MPI to take a closer look at the way cruise ships bring fruit and vegetables into New Zealand and asked that this produce be required to meet the same import health standard requirements as commercial imports. Another tough question came from Pipfruit New Zealand chief executive Alan Pollard, who asked Mr Dunne if the review he has instigated at MPI would ensure a consistency of service for industry, across the areas horticulture works with MPI on, like biosecurity, market access and food safety. Mr Dunne assured the group this was the