Working hard for growers
I’m not sure how another year has slipped by so quickly? It didn’t feel like it at the time as we have had more than our fair share of challenges. On reflection, overall 2017 for me was a good year. I achieved what I set out to do and feel proud of some of the milestones reached. I hope you feel the same. At Horticulture New Zealand, Mike and his team have tried to achieve the best outcome for our industry and growers.
I have highlight a number of key issues we have been pushing hard for during 2017 including:
Stopping the loss of our elite soils for food production
Fair access to water for our crops
Pushing back against unreasonable policies and laws
Ensuring new rules are fair and as reasonable as possible
Making submissions to select committees, regional and district councils on issues that affect our growers; suggesting better ways to achieve better outcomes for all
Representing our growers at more than 40 forums, national councils and with government departments
Raising the profile of horticulture in a positive way
• Working with other primary industries to ensure the rural
sector has a united voice
Improving our biosecurity wherever we can
Promoting Country of Origin Labeling (CoOL)
Joining with NZ Apples and Pears, Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated and NZ Winegrowers to support the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme.
Much of the work happens over time, with considerable thought, resources and cost associated with it. Next year many of these issues will still be on the agenda as these things are not solved overnight and others are just ongoing. We appreciate the support we get from product groups, district associations and an array of individuals who volunteer their time, energy and resources to help the horticultural industry. Thank you.
Unfortunately, December is when everyone wants to cram a normal month’s work into about two-and-a- half weeks. People are flat out shopping for last-minute presents, panic as schools finish, and just basically run out of time. They have their minds on Christmas and the prospect of spending time with family and friends away from work for a few weeks, and reasonableness just disappears. Four-and-a-half million people descend on the retail sector and the result is bedlam.
For those of us who need the festive season to top up sales and ensure New Zealand will enjoy a plentiful pantry or fridge I salute you
for the extra effort that will go in to making it happen. Please ensure you get a break too. I know the pressure will be on as we harvest, pack and distribute our crops when everyone wants to go to the beach.
I received positive feedback for my column last month in which I suggested that Hort NZ should encourage the formation of a new Ministry of Food. Unfortunately, my suggested name for such a ministry did not go down well with some, particularly the young generation. I received a suggestion that some wellselected Maori words like kai, wai and ora might be a good starting point. The literal translation of these words is food, water and life/health and vitality, so it seems like what we are aiming for. Are there any more suggestions out there?? Drop me a line or give me a call or text.
Finally, on behalf of the Horticulture New Zealand board, management and staff, I wish you a successful summer and hope most of you get a well-deserved break over the festive season. Other than enjoying yet another boysenberry harvest I know I will.
What will 2018 bring? I’m looking forward to it already.
"We appreciate the support we get from product groups, district associations and an array of individuals who volunteer their time, energy and resources to help the horticultural industry. Thank you."
Supporting the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme has been a highlight of 2017.