Progress for growers on several fronts
Last year the board progressed well on several fronts, including submitting an application under Hort NZ to become a Government Industry Agreement (GIA) partner on biosecurity, along with 14 other product groups who have previously joined.
The board has extended its research project development programme with the Vegetables Research & Innovation Board to support new projects this year.
The process vegetables (PVNZ) board is working with the Natural Resources & Environment and NZGAP teams in the Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne and Canterbury regions on various issues relevant to process growers. As GIA and biosecurity negotiations and issues are becoming increasingly more time consuming, myself and general manager John Seymour are increasing our input and support for day-to-day biosecurity activities, including the pea weevil and the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB).
Levy referendum & biosecurity levy In the first half of this year process vegetable growers will be asked to vote in the levy referendum for the continuation of the Process Vegetables NZ Commodity Levy and a new Biosecurity Levy. A motion was passed at the special general meeting at Rakaia on November 23, 2017 supporting the introduction of a separate biosecurity levy. You will also be asked to vote in support of the Hort NZ Levy because both organisations co-operatively manage common issues at different levels, while allowing Process Vegetables NZ to manage issues and opportunities that specifically affect process vegetable growers. These include research and biosecurity. Details of the levy proposals will be published in the March issue of this magazine. In April to June John and I will visit growers to talk about the referendum and answer questions.
Last year the board reviewed and assessed the options for better biosecurity protection for process vegetable growers. The board believes it is in the best interests of all for Process Vegetables NZ members to become a partner in GIA. The GIA Deed and Operational Agreements will clarify the roles, responsibilities and costs for the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and for PVNZ to provide a more enhanced and diligent biosecurity structure.
Hort NZ represents us as the signatory to join GIA and there’s a Memorandum of Understanding between both groups which outline: financial restraints, delegations for Hort NZ to make decisions, and when to consult and a general reporting programme. Our board will then consult with the Ministry for Primary Industries on incursions, and response and management options, as written in the joint PVNZ / GIA operational agreements.