Search results

Staying ahead of biosecurity risks

23rd September 2016

With Biosecurity the number one priority for our growers, using every tool to keep pests out of horticulture in New Zealand is essential.

Team New Zealand

27th September 2016

New Zealand survives with income from exports and tourism. Not just tourism, and not just exports; we all need to work together to keep New Zealand financially afloat. But we also need to take a wider view of what we do and take responsibility for the environment and the...

Innovative horticulture - buying New Zealand grown

29th September 2016

Innovation was front and centre at the citrus growers’ conference and AGM in Gisborne yesterday. Growing the best orange or mandarin is not enough in today’s world. To sell what you grow, and earn a decent return for your fruit, the message is that you need to innovate.

Health and Safety for those uninvited visitors

7th October 2016

There is an endless number of central and local government officials that have right of entry to your orchard and farm; the Council can come and assess compliance with environmental regulations without notice, Immigration can come and make sure your workers are legally entitled to work in New Zealand without notice,...

Less regulation – no need to reinvent the wheel

14th October 2016

As the voice of growers in Wellington, Horticulture New Zealand represents your views when new rules and laws are being made by the Government. The issue with some rules and laws is that one size does not necessarily fit all and our job is to ensure the interests of horticulture...

Trade is the way to change the fortunes of Middle America

10th November 2016

History tells us that the path to power and prosperity is trade. You can’t grow your country’s wealth by trading with yourself; you have to go and get some other countries’ wealth to become more prosperous. This is absolutely true for New Zealand, where horticulture is an enormous contributor to our...

Resource Management Act reform one step closer

11th November 2016

During the final moment of the US Presidential election this week, there was an announcement that National and the Māori Party have reached an accord on amending the Resource Management Act. Labour has come out in opposition to the reforms. The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill has been referred back to...

Earthquakes and bad weather will impact horticulture

16th November 2016

It has not been a great start to the week for some of our growers, with the earthquakes and now bad weather hitting the top of the South Island and lower North Island.

Registering chemicals in New Zealand to be easier

17th November 2016

Earlier this year, Horticulture New Zealand and other primary industry organisations made submissions on a Bill designed to make registration of chemicals more straightforward, without any reduction in the check and balances.

Increase in RSE workers needed

24th November 2016

The horticulture and viticulture industries rely on seasonal workers for harvest and pruning. It is not a full time job but it is an essential one to ensure that the crop is picked at the optimum time and skilled pruning is undertake. To assist with these seasonal tasks workers come from...

Trade deals open doors to wealth

25th November 2016

New Zealand’s wealth is driven by our exports, and anything the Government can do to improve our ability to export adds to our country's wealth. This week there have been two initiatives announced by the Government designed to do just that.

No more Great White Butterflies

29th November 2016

The Great White Butterfly is officially eradicated from New Zealand. What an achievement and what a story! 

Two sets of rules won’t work in the Waikato

5th December 2016

Having two sets of rules never works – it is divisive, and always leaves someone feeling disadvantaged. So HortNZ was surprised and disappointed when we learned the Waikato Regional Council (WRC) was slicing out an area previously covered by its notified Proposed Waikato Regional Plan Change 1, to allow consultation...

Amendments made to the Horticulture Export Authority Act (HEA)

8th December 2016

This Act is designed to both help New Zealand exporters gain market traction in developing markets, and to hold market share in developed markets. It has been an important tool assisting the growth of horticulture in key markets. The products that come under this system are avocados, blackcurrants, buttercup squash, chestnuts, kiwifruit...

A decade of employment solutions for Otago

12th December 2016

Last week, I was at the 10 year anniversary celebration of Seasonal Solutions. 

A century of growth, and more to come

19th December 2016

Figures released last week by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) show that horticulture has grown by 4.2% over the past year, with an export value of just under $5 billion. In the next four years this is expected to grow by at least another $1.3 billion. This growth means horticulture is...

Overcoming barriers to trade

21st December 2016

Every two years a report is released setting out the barriers to horticultural exports out of New Zealand. In the latest report, released on 30 November, the following data is presented:

The best career – skill development for horticulture

16th January 2017

As the Christmas holidays draw to a close, many of us start thinking about our careers or, if you’re just out of college, what your career may be. Gone are the days when, following the end of schooling, one settled into the same career for life. 

Houses or food, Mr Seymour?

26th January 2017

In a speech given on 23 January in Auckland, ACT Leader and MP for Epsom David Seymour stated:

RSE scheme is not migration – it adds to New Zealand’s wealth

8th February 2017

There is a commonly held misapprehension that the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme with the Pacific Islands is a form of migration; it is not. The workers come to New Zealand for, on average, about six months, and then they return home. They do not migrate to New Zealand. But what they do...

Horticulture New Zealand’s collective voice vital

10th February 2017

Whether showing rapid growth, or facing challenges, it is vital to have a pan-industry representative voice for horticulture growers. I’ve now been at HortNZ for one year, and during that time my belief in a pan-industry group has been fortified. There are three good reasons for this.

Healthy food for healthy minds

20th February 2017

A recent study has shown that increased consumption of fruits and vegetables in young adults can increase mental health, including increased motivation and vitality.

It’s what’s inside that counts

22nd February 2017

When you buy fruit and vegetables, the way it looks will probably influence your selection; good-looking fruit and vegetables sell for premium prices. But often, even if fruit and vegetables don't look great on the outside, they are just as tasty and nutritious as their better looking cousins.

Horticulture and drugs do not mix

28th February 2017

 

Getting Kiwis into work

1st March 2017

Horticulture is working hard to get New Zealanders who have not been in work for some time, or who have just left school, into permanent work. There are many opportunities in horticulture and, with the industry growing as fast as it is, there are great careers on offer. One of the best...

Public enemy number one: the Brown marmorated stink bug

7th March 2017

This is the time of year that the brown marmorated stink bug is hitchhiking to New Zealand in luggage, packages, containers, machinery, vehicles, medical equipment, protein powder, roof tiles, and furniture. Even Barbie dolls aren't safe; you name it, it hitchhikes in it. 

County of Origin Labelling – voluntary does not work

10th March 2017

One of the reasons given for there being no need for mandatory country of origin labelling is that there is voluntary compliance and therefore, it is not needed.  We will convince those who hold this view that voluntary does not work.

Zespri celebrates 20 years

13th March 2017

Twenty years ago, the kiwifruit industry had the foresight to develop what has become a world-leading, iconic brand that is recognised by consumers in Zespri’s key offshore markets. That’s an incredible achievement for a New Zealand grower-owned company. 

Getting ready for biosecurity incursions – we need all New Zealanders

31st March 2017

Everyone in New Zealand has a key role to play finding and reporting unwanted pests that can wreak havoc on our lifestyles and our economy.  Number one public enemy today is the brown marmorated stink bug.  If you see one, the poster below explains what to do.

New horizons for horticulture

3rd April 2017

The Tree Crops Association held its conference in New Plymouth last weekend. More than 100 highly enthusiastic growers attended, ranging from back-yard growers through to commercial growers.  Their interest in and passion for horticulture was very evident. I had the privilege to speak to them about the new horizons for horticulture.

Growing the export value of our food

4th April 2017

This week, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy addressed the Te Hono Summit (a one-day event aimed at sharing ideas and driving growth in the primary sector) with the question, how can New Zealand double our export value by 2025?

Country of Origin Labelling gets over first hurdle

18th April 2017

Country of origin labelling has started the journey to become law. Last week, Parliament voted for the Green Party’s Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill to be referred to the primary production select committee.

The price of vegetables

26th April 2017

Wet and wild weather inevitably brings enquires about whether or not the price of vegetables will increase in New Zealand.  But the real determinant of the price of vegetables is how much demand there is, and can the supply keep up.

Pacific Trade Deal

1st May 2017

Largely unnoticed last week was the announcement of the Pacific Trade Deal designed to cut down trade barriers covering goods and services as well as reduce tariffs, boost tourism, and raise living standards in the 12 Pacific Island Nations are part of the deal with Australia and New Zealand.

The real price of vegetables

15th May 2017

Extremely wet conditions have made it very difficult to grow vegetables in the past few weeks, especially leafy greens. Gardens are under water, plants have been destroyed by the constant rain and, until it stops raining, the plants will not be able to grow. It is also difficult to harvest root...

Country of Origin Labelling

22nd May 2017

 

Getting support for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

26th May 2017

An 11 nation TPP is looking like more of a possibility every day. The United States has said that it will not be party to the TPP, but other countries have indicated they want to press on with reaching an agreement.

Plant vegetables not houses on prime growing land

2nd June 2017

As better weather means the supply of vegetables is improving, consumers will be noticing prices are returning to what can be expected for this time of year. The best buys are of course, seasonal vegetables. Leafy greens, being predominantly summer vegetables, will remain in shorter supply and that will keep the price...

UK election's impact on trade

12th June 2017

 

Robots are horticulture's future

19th June 2017

Robots are making a difference in fruit and vegetable pack houses already, as seen in the above picture. This trend will continue.

Maximising the value chain

23rd June 2017

"Equipping producers to maximise their roles in the value chain" is just one of the 110 recommendations made in the recently released 2017 KPMG Agribusiness Agenda: The Recipe for Action.

Government leaders gather to discuss RSE scheme

10th July 2017

Last week, New Zealand Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) employers, Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, and key Ministers and government officials from both New Zealand and the Pacific countries providing RSE workers to New Zealand, joined together at a conference on the RSE scheme’s 10th birthday. The consensus was that the RSE...

Horticulture New Zealand AGM

11th July 2017

The Horticulture New Zealand AGM will cover the previous year’s achievement, report on the financial position and present the current campaigns that HortNZ is leading. The full report on the previous year can be found here. 

Sustainable horticulture: healthy food for all forever

17th July 2017

One of the themes at last week’s Horticulture Conference was sustainability. To illustrate this, a mini documentary video was produced and released; you can view the video below.

The Future of Trade

21st July 2017

At the recent Horticulture Conference in Tauranga, Dr Roland Fumasi –vice president, senior analyst and manager for Rabobank’s RaboResearch’s Food and Agribusiness group – gave an insightful presentation into where New Zealand will be trading in the future. 

Workplace safety vital

27th July 2017

The fact that consumers expect 100% perfection from their food producers was a growing trend discussed at the recent Horticulture Conference. Delegates were also told that consumers expect total transparency, so that they can confirm that perfection. Achieving these two market requirements will result in premium pricing and high volume sales for...

Horticulture has a great story to tell

3rd August 2017

Horticulture has a fantastic story to tell. It is one about growth, a significant contribution to New Zealand’s financial well-being, environmental sustainability, safe and healthy food, the increasing value of our exports, and an industry with many and varied career opportunities. The vital contribution that horticulture is and will increasingly continue making...

Primary sector diversity is the way to go

14th August 2017

One of the themes to come out of the Agri-Summit Conference in Napier last week was diversity. For the continued prosperity of the primary sector, and New Zealand’s entire economy, mixed land uses will need to be adopted in coming years; this was one of the propositions put forward.

Understanding Labour’s proposed water tax

21st August 2017

Farmers and growers need reliable water supply to feed New Zealand and grow our exports. To achieve that, farmers and growers need certain and reliable water policy. Labour announcing that it will impose a water tax, but work out the details later, causes uncertainty. 

Trade transcends the election

28th August 2017

Growth in horticulture, and the entire primary sector, is dependent on good trade access to countries that can afford to pay for our premium food.  Reducing tariffs certainly assists with the flow of export earnings back to New Zealand, but the real issue is what is called non-tariff barriers. Whether or...

Costs upon costs - taxes and penalties

6th September 2017

The old saying goes that the only things in life that are certain are death and taxes. In the modern horticulture industry, you could say that the only certain things would be death, taxes, and health and safety penalties.

Tax has woken the sleeping giant

14th September 2017

Political talk of new taxes, particularly a water tax, has stirred the primary sector. Growers and farmers across New Zealand are uniting over concerns about proposed new taxes. Let’s be clear, irrigation is vital for the vast majority of our commercially grown fruit and vegetables. 

Food security; from paddock to plate

18th September 2017

It is good to see mainstream media asking the government to look at food security. In the New Zealand Herald yesterday, Business Editor at Large Liam Dann penned an excellent piece: Why aren’t food prices an election issue?

Disrupt or be disrupted

25th September 2017

Change is rapidly coming to the primary sector. Our traditional approaches to farming and growing are going to change radically change in the next decade, in the form of changing eating habits, technological advances, and the robotic revolution. The by-line coming from the leaders and thought creators, for horticulture in particular, is...

Fortune favours the bold; innovators will flourish

28th September 2017

New Zealand has recently topped a survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit in London, which measured the extent to which young people in 35 countries learn six key skills. We came out ahead thanks to our university-industry collaboration, a curriculum that takes skills for the future into account, and an...

Instagram will tell the horticulture story

2nd October 2017

New Zealand’s fruit and vegetable growers have a great story to tell. Many run inter-generational family businesses, where three or four generations of the same family have been caring for the land. They understand environmental sustainability, from years of record keeping and experience, and are early adopters of innovation; New...

Block chain; proving provenance

9th October 2017

How do you know that the product you are purchasing in a supermarket is what it says it is?

Free trade vital to New Zealand economy

20th October 2017

New Zealand is a trading nation. We rely on export earnings from free trade for our financial prosperity. But free trade is a two way street – the countries involved open up their borders to allow free movement of goods and services on an equal basis. This includes property ownership. 

Growing Kiwi Labour

27th October 2017

 

The importance of infrastructure

1st November 2017

Here in New Zealand, we grow some of the highest-quality produce in the world. But, if you can’t get it to the consumer, what’s the point in growing it?

New Zealand needs its vegetables

8th November 2017

Last week, Horticulture New Zealand released a report on New Zealand’s domestic vegetable production, New Zealand domestic vegetable production: the growing story. One part of the report covers human health, with some of the health statistics simply frightening:

Research should remain at forefront of ministry re-structure

14th November 2017

The Government is set to restructure the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), creating separate Ministries of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry, with horticulture coming under the umbrella of Agriculture. Biosecurity and Food Safety are also tagged as separate portfolios.

Let the soil do the talking

22nd November 2017

In the Auckland City environs, there is a lot of land south of the city classified as class 1. The rich volcanic soils of Pukekohe, Tuakau, and Pukekawa are not seen elsewhere in New Zealand, and are ideally suited to growing vegetables.

Innovate or lose competitive advantage

1st December 2017

New Zealand’s horticulture industry gets top dollars for its produce overseas. There are a number of reasons for this. One of the most important is that we deliver what the consumer wants and therefore, what the consumer will pay for. Equally important is that we are market leaders with our new varieties of...

Meet Generation Z

8th December 2017

The oldest members of Generation Z are leaving high school and going on to further training, or joining the workforce. The purchasing habits of these Post-Millennials are not the same as previous generations and, with about one-quarter of New Zealand’s population being Gen Z, changes will need to be made to...

How big is that urban / rural divide?

15th December 2017

With the recent debates about water, the question of how big the urban / rural divide is - and how we can close the gap- has been something those of us concerned with growing food have been mulling over.

Where are your trees, Auckland?

19th December 2017

The 23 December 2017 Listener reports that, in the last five years, Aucklanders have chopped down a third of their trees, and that 90% of what is left is at risk of also being cut down.

Seasonal labour a vital ingredient

11th January 2018

Research New Zealand recently conducted a survey reporting on the impacts of the RSE scheme, where it has directly enabled:

Water storage to improve water standards

18th January 2018

Environment Minister David Parker has announced that preliminary work has begun to create a new freshwater policy for New Zealand, building on the previous Government’s work. He is quoted in media as saying: “I think [most] New Zealanders share an objective that their waterways should be clean enough to swim in...

Linking compliance to consumer expectations

9th February 2018

The way to grow a primary sector business is to provide the consumers of our food with what they want. But in recent years, the focus has been forced away from consumers and onto compliance. This creates the risk that having to put so much focus on compliance might take attention away...

Stormy weather and food supply

26th February 2018

 

CPTPP a real win for New Zealand

8th March 2018

Once you strip away all the figures, data, and modelling, there remains one essential fact: free trade deals generate incredible wealth for those who are party to them. In reality, free trade agreements have two main benefits besides tariff reductions.

Where are the workers?

16th March 2018

A question many industries in New Zealand are asking is “where are the workers?” While robotics and artificial intelligence are being touted to replace workers in many industries, this isn’t going to happen en masse anytime soon.

The balancing act of workplace relations

29th March 2018

There has been significant maturing on New Zealand’s labour law in recent years. The current legislation set about to achieve a greater degree of co-operation, trust, and fairness between employers and employees in the workplace. This seems to have worked, as there have been relatively few employment disputes that ended in strike...

Partnership key to address labour shortages

13th April 2018

All New Zealand industries are currently experiencing a shortage of workers. In some areas, particularly in the South Island, there are very few unemployed, and in some cases less than 50 for a whole regional district. The declaration of labour shortages in Central Otago earlier this year, and now in Hawke's Bay...

Technology is not a magic bullet

27th April 2018

New Zealand unemployment is currently at its lowest level since 2008. In some areas of the country there are very few people available for work, down to double digits, and this looks like it will continue for some time.

Do we really need another fuel tax?

4th May 2018

Reducing congestion on our main roads and making roads safer is something we all want. How we make that happen is the hard question. A simple solution would be less cars on the road, but that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

Maintaining trade rules essential

10th May 2018

New Zealand relies on trade for its economic survival. Without trade New Zealand would be a very different and a much poorer country. Successive New Zealand Governments have successfully worked to open up trading opportunities throughout the world and this continues today, with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)...

Know your food

1st June 2018

Consumer trend reports show that when consumers are asked to pay a premium price for their food, those consumers want to know why it’s worth it; namely, where and how that food was grown. But New Zealand law hasn’t quite caught up with this. 

Sustaining our environment – best products from the best country

6th June 2018

On World Environment Day, 5 June, Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor launched a primary sector action plan for water quality. This is the rural sector’s commitment to environmental sustainability. It not only reports on progress to date - click here for an example of what individual growers are...

Employment relations the new frontier

13th June 2018

This Government has launched reviews of education and tax, plus it has created a new Climate Change Commission. It has also announced a shake-up of workplace laws. The education review is timely. More work on climate change is inevitable.

Good law-making missing on Regional Fuel Tax

22nd June 2018

The Government plans to implement, in conjunction with the Auckland Council, a fuel tax for Auckland on 1 July 2018. On behalf of our growers, HortNZ has submitted to the Parliamentary Select Committee considering the Land Transport Management (Regional Fuel Tax) Amendment Bill, written to Ministers, met with Ministers, met...

The impact of rising wages

2nd July 2018

New Zealand’s economy is in good shape and growing. In the past, when the economy is growing, workers have gone after wage increases. The flow-on effect of this is that businesses put up their prices, inflation increases, the exchange rate increases making exports less profitable, and the Reserve Bank tightens...

Join the campaign to Fix the Bill

9th July 2018

Two Bills before Parliament will radically change how employment law operates in New Zealand. Both Bills are designed to increase the influence of unions and to change how the workforce interacts with employers. Horticulture New Zealand has recommended that neither of these Bills be made law and has made submissions on them. ...

Horticulture Conference is a must-attend

12th July 2018

The Horticulture Conference will be held at the Air Force Museum in Christchurch from 23 to 25 July. The theme this year is ‘Our Food Story’, with the sessions tracing that story from the commercial vegetable gardens and fruit orchards, all the way through to the consumer.

Horticulture New Zealand’s top five

19th July 2018

Next week, Horticulture New Zealand has its Annual General Meeting (AGM), where we will focus on our top five activities including:

Does complexity produce quality?

27th July 2018

A constant concern of all businesses, whether urban or rural based, is that running their business is becoming increasingly harder as profit margins become tighter. Complicated business processes and regulations do not necessarily produce the high quality produce that consumers demand.

Time to act on food security

16th August 2018

It’s time to act on food security New Zealand.  We cannot take for granted that our fruit and vegetable growers can continue to feed New Zealand, as well as generate increasing export returns to benefit the economy. We need to take a strategic and measured assessment of where we grow our...

Climate change and rural confidence

7th September 2018

There has been a lot of talk in the media and in boardrooms about a drop in business confidence. This is also a hot topic in the rural sector, with some of the employment law changes causing concerns about the ongoing financial viability of businesses, and economic growth stalling.

Asian markets still open

18th September 2018

Guest Blog – Richard Palmer