Today, Horticulture New Zealand signed a Government Industry Agreement (GIA) for Biosecurity Readiness and Response on behalf of Process Vegetables New Zealand (PVNZ).
PVNZ chair David Hadfield says robust biosecurity should be seen as an investment for growers.
“Committing to the GIA enables us to have closer, more informed interactions with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and other GIA industry partners around biosecurity. This includes planning for potential incursions and taking a leading role in collective biosecurity management where it impacts our members,” Hadfield says.
PVNZ represents the interests of 350 commercial growers of sweetcorn, beetroot, carrots, parsnips, peas, and beans for processing, with the farm gate value of process vegetable crops valued at over $60 million per annum.
The GIA signing in Wellington was attended by representatives from PVNZ, Horticulture New Zealand, MPI, and the GIA Secretariat. Horticulture New Zealand has signed the GIA Deed on behalf of PVNZ - as it is not an incorporated society - and will represent their interests at the decision-making table.
PVNZ joins a number of other GIA signatories, including Potatoes New Zealand, Vegetables New Zealand, TomatoesNZ, Kiwifruit Vine Health, New Zealand Apples and Pears, Onions New Zealand, New Zealand Avocado Growers’ Association, New Zealand Citrus Growers Incorporated, Summerfruit NZ, NZ Winegrowers, NZ KiwiBerry Growers Incorporated, and Nashi New Zealand, as well as the Crown representative, MPI. The forestry sector and a number of livestock sector organisations are also members of the partnership.
In the lead up to joining the partnership, PVNZ has been involved in a number of biosecurity activities carried out under GIA, including readiness work commissioned by the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Council. Committing to GIA via Horticulture New Zealand, will give the process vegetables sector full decision-making rights for readiness and response activities under GIA. As well as signing the GIA Deed on behalf of PVNZ, Horticulture New Zealand will also sign the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Operational Agreement, enabling it to take a full seat at the table addressing New Zealand’s largest horticultural risk – BMSB.
Steve Rich, manager of the GIA Secretariat, says that the GIA is a unique partnership between New Zealand’s primary producers and government.
“As GIA grows, we are seeing the benefits of industry and government working in collaboration across a range of activities, resulting in better outcomes for biosecurity. On behalf of all the existing GIA partners, we welcome the process vegetables sector and Horticulture New Zealand to GIA and, look forward to working closely with them to improve New Zealand’s biosecurity,” Rich says.