Your Levy at Work
HortNZ leads industry wide issues for industry good
Countdown: The Commerce Commission released its report into allegations of anti-competitive and intimidating behaviour by Progressive Enterprises Ltd, the operator of Countdown supermarket chain, towards their suppliers. The Commission's investigation dealt with 90 complaints from suppliers. The Commission found that Progressive did not breach any laws.
HortNZ chief executive Peter Silcock says HortNZ accepts the Commission found there was no breach of the law, but the fact is New Zealand has one of the highest concentrations of supermarket power in the world and one of the least regulated markets.
“We need to address that. The establishment of a mandatory supermarket code of conduct and introducing legislation around unconscionable conduct would be a great start.”
Growers supplying supermarkets and other retailers should note that the Commission did highlight two areas where, as it says, “commercial parties should be reminded to take care”. The first is about ambiguity in business communications, which can be misunderstood and place retailers at risk of breaching the law.
The second piece of advice from the Commission was a warning to remember not to exchange information about competitor's future behaviour, or discuss supplier interactions with a competitor. “Individuals who do so are exposing both themselves personally and their company to a potential breach of the law,” the Commission says.
Read the full report here: http://www. comcom.govt.nz/business-competition/ competition- enforcement- responses/ investigation-reports/
Levy: Growers who make direct sales should have received a letter with their ID number and instructions on how to pay their Direct Levy online.
To get started go to https://levy. hortnz.co.nz/paynow and enter your membership ID number, this can be found on your Orchardist or NZGrower magazine label or on the direct levy letter which was posted to you, or by calling the HortNZ office on 0508 467 869.
If you didn't make any direct sales for the period 18 June 2013 to 30 June 2014 there's no need to return the form. If you do make direct sales, but didn't receive a letter, please email your name and contact phone number to email@example.com.
And thank you very much to those growers who have already paid their direct levy using the online facility. We've had some very positive feedback already.
Database: Thanks to all the growers in the Northland region who have returned our database checking forms to us. We got an excellent return rate. This is all part of our regular HortNZ database checking. We are about to send out a survey form to growers in the Wellington, Wairarapa, Manawatu and Taranaki regions.
In this survey we are asking a new question about the council and local authorities growers have to work with. We are asking this because we know there are growers who might operate a business in one local authority region and live in another. We are trying to make sure we talk to the right people when we need to work with local growers on district or regional council resource management planning.
We are working on this region-byregion so we can manage the responses we get and build up a consistent work programme for updating the database. If you are a grower in Northland and DID NOT receive the survey form, please email Kirsty.firstname.lastname@example.org and we will figure out what happened, and will send you a form.
Directors: The appointment of two people to the HortNZ Board for their knowledge and experience took a step closer with the HortNZ director selection group established. The selection group comprises the president Julian Raine and two members elected by the Horticulture Industry Forum, John Bourke of Bay of Plenty and Lesley Wilson from Hawke's Bay.
The directors selection group will recommend to the Board one person to be appointed to HortNZ's Board by the 2015 annual meeting and a further person to be appointed before the 2016 annual meeting. The two appointed directors will join the seven directors elected by grower members. Elected directors must be growers. The rationale for having appointed directors, that may be either growers or non-growers, is to extend the knowledge and experience on the board while at the same time leaving grower members firmly in control of their organisation.
United Fresh: The very topical subjects of food safety and traceability were the focus of a United Fresh workshop held in Auckland last month. About 80 people attended, including HortNZ director Mike Arnold and staff Peter Silcock and Leigh Catley. Lawyer Ciska de Rijik from Simpson Grierson gave a brief overview of industry responsibilities under the Food Act and the opportunities for the industry to make health and nutrition claims not available to the marketers of many other products.
Shaun Bosson from GS1 explained global trends in traceability and the key elements for developing traceability systems. Sally Johnston from the Ministry for Primary Industries spoke about the implementation of the Food Act and invited the industry to work with MPI on implementation. Peter also attended a regular meeting of the MPI Food & Beverage Forum while in Auckland.
Training: The new set of horticulture qualifications (Levels 1 to 6 – trade certificate and diploma level) have been submitted to the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQA). HortNZ has worked to ensure the qualifications have been based on specific job roles i.e. working from the job backwards, rather than being education driven.
In the past there have been more than 115 different horticulture sector qualifications registered at levels 1-6 on (NZQA). HortNZ has advocated for a reduction of the duplication and proliferation of qualifications and for a system that is easy to understand, particularly for employers and learners.
HortNZ's Sue Pickering says the new qualifications have been worked on extensively by a good combination of industry people, the Primary ITO and educators. The next step is for the qualifications to be ‘listed' and then programme development will begin.
HortNZ and others have indicated they want to have full involvement to ensure the process results in sensible and beneficial outcomes. While industry has indicated it is happy with the new qualifications map being put in place we will still have to work hard in this phase to ensure that we don't get a proliferation of programmes underneath the qualifications.
Leadership: The HortNZ leadership programme for 2014 has now been completed. The last part of the course involved the participants spending three days in Wellington, which included the presentation of their individual course projects and a meeting with Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy.
As usual we asked those on the course to review and rate their experience of the programme. Results averaged at 8.5/10 for programme goals and 8.0/10 for personal goals and the feedback itself has been equally positive: “Outstanding programme – recommend it to anyone in the industry”. And advice to anyone thinking of taking the course was: “Go for it” or “Do it and you will never look back”. About 170 graduates have now completed the course.
Hawke’s Bay: The Ruataniwha Dam High Court Appeal started last month. HortNZ is involved along with DairyNZ, Fonterra, Irrigation New Zealand and Federated Farmers in responding to appeals to the dam decision by the Environmental Defence Society, Forest & Bird and Fish & Game. Other parties responding to the appeals include the Hawke's Bay Regional Council and Hastings Regional Council.
The appeals by EDS, F&G and F&B were on a number of broad legal points but were basically arguing that the plan change does not give effect to the National Policy Statement (NPS) for freshwater without a dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) content limit of 0.8 in the river because the on-farm Land Use Class (LUC) limits are not enough to ensure water quality. The proposed limit of 0.8 DIN is much lower than the A grade of the NPS which is 1.5.
South Korea: HortNZ welcomed the announcement of a new free trade deal with South Korea which should result in the creation of a much more attractive market for some of our horticulture growers and exporters.
According to Simon Hegarty, chief executive of the Horticulture Export Authority, New Zealand exports 60% of its horticulture production at a value of NZ$2.4 billion and South Korea is the destination for almost 3% of that. It is our 7th largest export market with exports in 2014 amounting to NZ$64 million. However, these exports attracted an estimated NZ$25 million in tariffs at an average 39% of the value.
Simon says this has contributed to the decline in trade to this market in the past two years. The 45% tariff on kiwifruit alone amounted to a cost of $20m or an average $7,820/grower, while the cost to the 40 buttercup squash growers was $2.9m or an average of $73,000 per grower.
The new deal eliminates 93% of our current tariffs within five years, on kiwifruit and buttercup squash (that make up 85% of our current trade).