Your levy Your levy at workat work
Your Levy at Work
Horticulture New Zealand has launched its 2017 Election Manifesto. We came out with five key priorities for the new government, to be elected on September 23 namely, biosecurity, food security, workforce capability, mandatory country of origin labelling and healthy eating education. Then Labour came out with its tax proposals, including a tax on water for some water users, and the question list we had for the next government increased.
It is vague on detail, but as announced, Labour’s water tax policy appears to have potential to have a big impact on fruit and vegetable growers. A number of growers have contacted Horticulture New Zealand to voice their concerns, both about the tax and that, as announced, it would be unfairly targeting food producers to be responsible for paying to clean up water ways. The bottom line is that any additional production cost gets passed on to consumers and the healthy food our growers produce gets more expensive. Making healthy food more expensive, in a country with a lot of health issues related to poor diet, does not seem like sound policy. Since the policy was announced, Hort NZ has put out three media releases (all on our website) and chief executive Mike Chapman and president Julian Raine have spoken out via media on many occasions. Social media has also been all a Twitter on the subject. We will continue to put forward growers’ views
on this critical issue.
Horticulture New Zealand’s
NZGrower magazine has won an international award for its front cover illustration. One of more than 400 entries for the 2017 Tabbie Awards, from the American-based Trade Association Business Publications International,
the July 2016 NZGrower cover was awarded Bronze in the Front Cover – Illustration category. “Fun with just the right amount of humour; love the execution here (no pun intended!),” judges said of the cover illustration depicting a wasp with a “big hammer” to hit the tomato-potato psyllid.
Horizons Regional Council recently voted to investigate changes to its One Plan that cover intensive farming and nutrient leaching, in particular nitrogen. Changing a plan is not easy, simple, or quick. It is both a legal and a public process and it may take two to four years. This decision, and its potential impacts, are covered in a Question and Answer document on our website and also in this magazine.
Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith has announced funding of $485,168 from the Freshwater Improvement Fund for a three-year project: Protecting our Groundwater – Measuring and Managing Diffuse Nutrient losses from Cropping Systems, which has been welcomed by Horticulture New Zealand. Food consumers world-wide are increasingly wanting information about the environmental impacts of the food supply chain, particularly when it comes to healthy food, so it is important to have funding to apply science and research to ensuring the best management practices for our growers. The project is managed by the Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) with funding from Vegetable Research and Innovation (V R & I), industry and regional councils. Hort NZ is part of the project team.
Hort NZ is looking to set up a working group to discuss the issues with cropping and leased land relating to land use consents. If you are interested in being involved please contact Astra Foster, email@example.com
Hort NZ, along with other groups, attended the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (MFAT) Agriculture Core Group meeting on August 3. MFAT gave a thorough round up of trade negotiations, and Mike Petersen (special agricultural trade envoy) gave a wrap-up of his travels, with particular focus on his visit to Latin America. Mike talked