What the par­ties said about hor­ti­cul­ture

On be­half of all com­mer­cial veg­etable and fruit grow­ers, Hor­ti­cut­lure New Zealand wrote to all par­ties rep­re­sented in Par­lia­ment last month ask­ing how they stood on is­sues af­fect­ing grow­ers.

The Orchardist - - Election 17 -

The point was clearly made that hor­ti­cul­ture gen­er­ates more than $5.6 bil­lion in rev­enue for New Zealand, pro­vides 60,000 jobs, and sup­ports in­fra­struc­ture in hun­dreds of ru­ral and re­gional com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try. The in­dus­try con­tin­ues to ex­pe­ri­ence ex­po­nen­tial growth, on tar­get to reach $10 bil­lion by 2020; fresh fruit ex­ports alone in­creased to $2.6b in 2016, up by 35% on 2015. “This growth can­not be sus­tained with­out gov­ern­ment sup­port and, with the gen­eral election on the hori­zon, we wish to hear your party’s poli­cies cov­er­ing key is­sues of par­tic­u­lar im­por­tance to the grow­ers and in­dus­try we represent, and how they align with our own vi­sion: healthy food for all for­ever, as out­lined in our election man­i­festo.” It seemed NZFirst, the Maori Party, ACT and United Fu­ture had more im­por­tant things than a multi­bil­lion dol­lar in­dus­try on their minds. They did not re­spond. Our re­quest deleted into the ether. Pre­sented here are the words of those who did re­spond – Na­tional, Labour and the Greens. We asked them about pri­mary pro­duc­tion pol­icy, food se­cu­rity, work­force ca­pa­bil­ity, CoOL, healthy eat­ing ed­u­ca­tion and trade.We sent them our election man­i­festo which is pub­lished in this magazine.

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