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Pipfruit Industry future direction

Pipfruit Industry future direction to be decided at National Conference

The future direction of New Zealand’s Pipfruit Industry will be determined at a national conference in Hawke’s Bay this month (January 28/29 2004).

Pipfruit Growers of New Zealand (PGNZI) is proposing significant changes to its rules to allow a “whole industry” approach that will unite growers, exporters, post-harvest operators and industry suppliers.

The new structure would form a single organisation responsible for industry good functions, including, new variety development, production and post-harvest research, market access development, phytosanitary and food safety assurance, and regulatory compliance.

The proposed new Pipfruit New Zealand aims to provide commercial benefit to the whole industry through co-operative management of industry good functions – linking growers with post harvest operations and exporters right through to the marketplace.

PGNZI chairman Phil Alison said the main objective is to consolidate views so that the industry makes informed decisions in a coordinated manner.

“Currently nobody can stand up on behalf of the whole industry. To get an industry-wide view you must go to at least two different groups, and you are unlikely to get the same answer.

“As an industry this weakens our position”.

“Two seasons on from deregulation the industry has been through its settling down period, but this has left some gaps”.

“The proposed new structure is a huge step forward, and there are risks involved but we have to be seriously committed to moving forward and ensuring New Zealand remains competitive in an increasingly demanding marketplace.

The proposed structure comprises eight directors – four representing Production (Growers), two on-shore Post harvest, operations and two representing Exporters.

“The board will still be appointed on a “best person for the job’ basis. However, but if any region is not represented the Board will appoint a person within that region to ensure effective links are maintained.

“As Growers we are not giving away control – we will, in fact, be taking an influence over factors right through the chain to market that which are integral to the returns we receive.”

The Pipfruit New Zealand proposal still has 50% of the directors appointed by growers, and the Chairman will be appointed from Grower directors.

“No single sector of the industry, whether exporter, coolstore operator, packer or grower, has the depth of understanding to ensure we are able to maximise premiums. It takes input from all sectors to deliver the best outcome. Levy paying Growers will continue to have automatic membership through their levy. Post harvest, exporter, and associated members will be through a membership fee.

Conference Notes

PGNZI’s The conference “Pipfruit New Zealand - The Way Forward – (Global leadership through integration and innovation)” is jointly sponsored by HortResearch

The conference is being held at Mission Estate Winery in Taradale on January 28-29.

It has attracted international speakers of the highest calibre who will give their thoughts on where the industry is heading through innovation and integration. Guest speakers include:

New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Dr Michael Cullen. Chris White, Managing Director of Eurofruit journal, speaking on “NZ in the European Market - strengths, weaknesses and challenges” Des O’Rourke, Publisher of the World Apple Review, speaking on “Global market trends within the apple and pear sectors” New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Dr Michael Cullen

Other conference topics include: Market Access, Research Integrated Fruit Production European Regulatory requirements Apple and Pear Breeding Programme

There will also be an Exporter Market Panel discussion session.

The PGNZI Annual General Meeting will be held at the conclusion of the conference. Growers will vote on the proposed new structure at the AGM.

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