Your levy at work

Hortnz leads in­dus­try wide is­sues for in­dus­try good

The Orchardist - - >>president's Word -

GOV­ER­NANCE

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.

IN­DUS­TRY

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.

BIOSE­CU­RITY

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

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