Levy ref­er­en­dum

This year is vi­tal for all of us who are part of Po­ta­toes NZ; grow­ers and our in­dus­try in gen­eral.

NZ Grower - - Product Groups -

The up­com­ing levy ref­er­en­dum is the time to fo­cus on our suc­cesses and goals in the last few years.

Our strat­egy has in­volved re­al­is­tic and sen­si­ble ways to main­tain and in­crease grower in­comes cre­at­ing a growth path we can all buy into. This has only been made pos­si­ble with our com­mod­ity levy and the open com­mu­ni­ca­tion we have had with grow­ers, who have faced their fair share of bad weather, mar­ket­ing and sup­ply chal­lenges. Po­ta­toes NZ is evening out the ef­fects of these chal­lenges, and im­prov­ing ways to get our po­ta­toes to the right mar­kets at the right price.

Only five sea­sons ago in 2013 the new levy al­lowed us to forge ahead as an in­dus­try in a com­pet­i­tive and chang­ing mar­ket. The levy and ev­ery­one’s hard work has meant that rather than wait­ing for the mar­ket and trends to set the fu­ture for grow­ers, we have been able to con­fi­dently de­velop our goals and chart our own suc­cess.

The heart of our strat­egy is sim­ple, ef­fec­tive and sets the stan­dard for the next six years of the levy:

1. Dou­ble the value of fresh and pro­cessed New Zealand based ex­ports by 2025;

2. En­hance the value of the do­mes­tic mar­ket by 50% by 2025;

3. In­crease prof­itabil­ity per Hectare per an­num by $150.

These straight­for­ward goals make sense to grow­ers up and down the coun­try and pro­vide a mea­sur­ing stick of progress at the same time. I am please to be able to re­port we are mak­ing good progress and these goals are on track to be­ing achieved. We have seen an­nual to­tal mar­ket value reach NZ$982 mil­lion as of De­cem­ber 2017. Growth has been achieved in both the Do­mes­tic and Ex­port Mar­kets with growth since 2013 be­ing 28% and 17% re­spec­tively, show­ing we are well on tar­get to reach our goals by 2025. Main­tain­ing ac­cess and im­prov­ing ac­cess to in­ter­na­tional mar­kets such as to the Fi­jian mar­ket for fresh ta­ble po­ta­toes is key to main­tain­ing growth. PNZ has been ac­tive to en­sure min­i­mal in­ter­rup­tion to this strate­gi­cally im­por­tant trade. The Biose­cu­rity & Reg­u­la­tory Sub­com­mit­tee en­sure that grow­ers and ex­porters have di­rect in­put into the mar­ket ac­cess and biose­cu­rity ac­tiv­i­ties planned by PNZ. A strong ex­am­ple of how we have worked for grow­ers is our Re­search, De­vel­op­ment and Ex­ten­sion (RD&E) pro­gramme in part­ner­ship with the Foun­da­tion for Arable Re­search (FAR) which we’ve been re­port­ing to you in the 11 Po­tato Up­dates; in the field walks held in each of the main grow­ing re­gions and at our bi­en­nial con­fer­ences. We have com­pleted 12 R&D projects and an­other 18 R&D are in progress, and mem­bers have seen and com­mented on the field tri­als and projects first-hand. We have held Grower Talks with in­ter­na­tional ex­perts in our main grow­ing re­gions. These projects are build­ing mo­men­tum and we are pleased with the progress to date. The R&D Tech­ni­cal Panel en­ables grow­ers, pro­ces­sors and agron­o­mists to have in­put into the PNZ R&D Pro­gramme. Chips and crisps are an im­por­tant part of our in­dus­try. Our pro­ces­sors play a cru­cial role in grow­ing both the do­mes­tic and ex­port mar­kets. We are there­fore pleased to have close re­la­tion­ships, with them be­ing Trade Mem­bers of PNZ. The Chip Group, a tech­ni­cal panel of PNZ, play a cru­cial role in im­prov­ing the un­der­stand­ing of the nu­tri­tional sta­tus of chips hav­ing trained over 1,400 peo­ple through the Chip Group Best Prac­tice Fry­ing train­ing course. The Best Chip Shop Com­pe­ti­tion was re­launched in 2017 and the Peo­ple’s Choice Best Chips is now be­ing held an­nu­ally, show­ing our com­mit­ment to this sec­tor.

To en­sure de­mand is main­tained for fresh ta­ble po­ta­toes we ini­ti­ated the Novem­ber Means New Po­ta­toes sea­son launch, which at­tracted more than 50 in­flu­en­tial food writ­ers and me­dia – gen­er­at­ing over 20 ‘good news’ sto­ries in na­tional me­dia. This in­cluded a na­tional tele­vi­sion cam­paign to pro­mote con­sump­tion of new sea­son po­ta­toes, in as­so­ci­a­tion with United Fresh’s 5+ A Day cam­paign. Fol­low­ing its suc­cess this will be re­peated an­nu­ally. These ad­vances are putting money in the bank for grow­ers and demon­strate what smart co-or­di­nated pro­mo­tions can achieve for the im­age po­ta­toes. En­sur­ing po­ta­toes are kept on the plate is the key goal. Po­ta­toes NZ is en­sur­ing we are rep­re­sent­ing and talk­ing where we need to be to keep us ahead of the chang­ing is­sues.

Some of the ex­am­ples worth not­ing in­clude:

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