Your levy at work

The Orchardist - - Under The Mikeroscope -

BIOSE­CU­RITY

An op­er­a­tional agree­ment to re­duce the dam­ag­ing im­pact of a brown mar­morated stink bug in­cur­sion was signed by a num­ber of hor­ti­cul­tural sec­tor groups and gov­ern­ment at the Hor­ti­cul­ture Con­fer­ence in July. The brown mar­morated stink bug (BMSB) is one of the big­gest threats fac­ing New Zealand’s hor­ti­cul­tural sec­tor. It threat­ens the liveli­hoods of pri­mary sec­tor pro­duc­ers, and would im­pact on the qual­ity of life of all New Zealan­ders if it were to es­tab­lish here. This agree­ment will for­malise the readi­ness work that is al­ready well un­der­way by both in­dus­try, the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries, and re­searchers.

The sa­mu­rai wasp steer­ing group is work­ing to fi­nalise the sa­mu­rai wasp im­port ap­pli­ca­tion to the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Author­ity (EPA), for use as a bio-con­trol. The steer­ing group is work­ing with the Brown Mar­morated Stink Bug (BMSB) Coun­cil to de­velop plans for op­er­a­tional de­ploy­ment of the sa­mu­rai wasp in re­sponse to a po­ten­tial BMSB in­cur­sion. It has been es­ti­mated that a stink bug in­cur­sion could cause hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars of losses and the loss of over­seas mar­kets if it be­came es­tab­lished. The sa­mu­rai wasp is a nat­u­ral en­emy of the stink bug and is said to be one of the most ef­fec­tive bi­o­log­i­cal con­trols.

In June, the Plants Mar­ket Ac­cess Coun­cil agreed to main­tain charges for phy­tosan­i­tary cer­tifi­cates at the same level as

last year. Biose­cu­rity and trade pol­icy man­ager Richard Palmer has spo­ken with the NZ Fei­joa Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion ex­ec­u­tive about mar­ket ac­cess, on-ar­rival bor­der de­tec­tions, and myr­tle rust. The Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries (MPI) now has a Myr­tle Rust In­for­ma­tion page on its web­site to keep peo­ple up to date with con­firmed sites and le­gal re­stric­tions on move­ment of plants and green waste.

The Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries (MPI) has com­pleted a re­view of sub­mis­sions on the Im­port Health Stan­dard for Air Con­tain­ers and is­sued a pro­vi­sional stan­dard for re­view by sub­mit­ters, in­clud­ing Hort NZ and Ki­wifruit Vine Health. We are work­ing through the MPI re­sponse to our sub­mis­sion, and con­sid­er­ing the amend­ments made in this pro­vi­sional stan­dard. Over­all, this Air Con­tainer IHS pro­vides for im­proved pro­cesses at air­ports to bet­ter man­age resid­ual biose­cu­rity risk in air con­tain­ers, in­clud­ing record­ing de­tec­tions to give a bet­ter pic­ture of th­ese risks. Pro­vid­ing for col­lec­tion of data of this na­ture is crit­i­cal to achiev­ing the goals of Biose­cu­rity 2025, in par­tic­u­lar Strate­gic Di­rec­tion 3: Free flow­ing in­for­ma­tion high­ways.

GROWER SUP­PORT

Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand has teamed up with WorkSafe New Zealand to cre­ate a health and safety tool­kit specif­i­cally de­signed for hor­ti­cul­ture busi­nesses. The cus­tomised tool­kit, called Keep Safe, Keep Grow­ing, in­cludes both a writ­ten book­let and an easy-to-work-through on­line guide to help grow­ers iden­tify and man­age health and safety risks. Fea­tures in­clude a guide for vis­i­tors to a prop­erty, tools and train­ing re­sources for work­ers and con­trac­tors, and the abil­ity to cre­ate risk as­sess­ments for Good Agri­cul­tural Prac­tice (GAP) au­dits that are part of many hor­ti­cul­ture busi­nesses. A copy of the Keep Safe, Keep Grow­ing guide is be­ing posted to all grow­ers. Ad­di­tional copies will be avail­able from Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand on re­quest and you can find the tool­kit via our web­site www.hortnz.co.nz.

NZGAP has pub­lished its an­nual ac­tiv­ity re­port, cover­ing its work over the past 12 months. The re­port is avail­able on the NZGAP web­site www.newzealandgap.co.nz.

A levy re­duc­tion for com­mer­cial fruit and vegetable grow­ers was ap­proved by grow­ers at the Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing (AGM) in Tau­ranga in July. The

pro­posal was that the levy be re­duced by 0.01% to 0.14%, equat­ing to 14c per $100 of sales. This will go into ef­fect on 1 Oc­to­ber 2017. The Board rec­om­mended the levy re­duc­tion be­cause pru­dent con­trols in the pre­ced­ing fi­nan­cial year meant Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand’s fi­nan­cial po­si­tion was such that it could sus­tain a down­turn in levies and still con­tinue to pro­vide es­sen­tial ser­vices.

A video show­ing the story of New Zealand’s fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles, from the seed through to food on a plate, was launched by Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand at the Hor­ti­cul­ture Con­fer­ence. Hor­ti­cul­ture has been the un­sung hero of the pri­mary in­dus­tries and we thought it was time peo­ple knew our story. The video is pitched at a broad au­di­ence and aimed to cover off trends in­clud­ing a strong de­sire by con­sumers to both buy food grown lo­cally, and to un­der­stand what has gone into pro­duc­ing their food. The video ti­tled Healthy food for all for­ever can be viewed on YouTube or via the Hort NZ web­site www.hortnz.co.nz.

NAT­U­RAL RE­SOURCES

In June, the Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment team made a fur­ther sub­mis­sion on the pro­posed Marl­bor­ough En­vi­ron­ment Plan. This plan has been cre­ated by the Marl­bor­ough District Coun­cil (MDC) to pro­duce a sin­gle re­source man­age­ment doc­u­ment for the district, merg­ing the Marl­bor­ough Re­gional Pol­icy State­ment, the Marl­bor­ough Sounds Re­source Man­age­ment Plan, and the Wairau/Awa­tere Re­source Man­age­ment Plan. There have been a large num­ber of sub­mis­sions on this plan, and fur­ther in­for­ma­tion can be

ac­cessed on the MDC web­site www.marl­bor­ough.govt.nz.

Hort NZ as­sem­bled a team of ex­perts, ad­vo­cates and grow­ers to present at the Whangarei District Plan change hear­ings on the ru­ral pro­vi­sions. The hear­ing went very well, and we hope to have ef­fec­tively com­mu­ni­cated the im­por­tance of hor­ti­cul­ture for the district and some is­sues for grow­ers with the plan, par­tic­u­larly re­gard­ing zon­ing and re­verse sen­si­tiv­ity.

Hort NZ has sub­mit­ted ev­i­dence and pre­sented on it for the Greater Welling­ton Pro­posed Nat­u­ral Re­sources Plan Hear­ing Stream 2, which cov­ers the top­ics of air qual­ity man­age­ment, land use in ri­par­ian mar­gins and stock ac­cess to wa­ter bod­ies, and soil con­ser­va­tion.

TRADE

In June, Hort NZ’s biose­cu­rity and trade pol­icy man­ager Richard Palmer and chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Chap­man, to­gether

with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Ze­spri, met with vis­i­tors from Copa-co­geca – the or­gan­i­sa­tion rep­re­sent­ing farm­ers and their co­op­er­a­tives in the Euro­pean Union. They dis­cussed the high value for both New Zealand and Euro­pean agribusi­ness from trade in hor­ti­cul­tural prod­ucts. The Rus­sian em­bargo has been a sig­nif­i­cant dis­rup­tor for the Euro­pean fruit and vegetable in­dus­try, and Brexit poses chal­lenges, both of which come on the back of de­clin­ing fruit and vegetable con­sump­tion. Po­ten­tial op­por­tu­nity in mat­ters of plant health were also dis­cussed, as were im­por­tant risk man­age­ment strate­gies and ap­pro­pri­ate, cost-ef­fec­tive mech­a­nisms that sup­port mar­ket ac­cess.

New Zealand per­sim­mons have ac­cess to China, fol­low­ing fi­nal sig­noff by Chi­nese of­fi­cials. Of­fi­cials from China's in­spec­tion and quar­an­tine ser­vices were in New Zealand in July to au­dit com­pli­ance with the per­sim­mon ex­port pro­gramme to China. The of­fi­cials looked in great de­tail at the reg­is­tered or­chards, pack­house, ex­porter and freight for­warders, and were present at the phy­tosan­i­tary in­spec­tion af­ter com­ple­tion of cold treat­ment. Up to 20,000kg may be ex­ported this year. As the in­dus­try builds con­fi­dence that it will de­liver qual­ity fruit while meet­ing the im­port pro­to­cols, this vol­ume is ex­pected to grow in the com­ing years.

PEO­PLE

The in­au­gu­ral Hort NZ Lead­er­ship Pro­gramme and Na­tional Young Grower Alumni event was held at the Hor­ti­cul­ture Con­fer­ence in July. The event in­cluded a pre­sen­ta­tion by Dr Rosie Bos­worth, a strate­gic com­mu­ni­ca­tions and tech­nol­ogy pro­fes­sional with a fo­cus on the con­ver­gence of new tech­nolo­gies, busi­ness model in­no­va­tion, and how col­lec­tively they are trans­form­ing the world’s ma­jor in­dus­try sec­tors.

Dr Rosie Bos­worth

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