Improving market access for NZ horticulture
2 August 2006
Programme changes will improve market access for NZ horticulture
Horticulture growers and exporters are hopeful of improved market access following the revamp of New Zealand’s largest food safety and quality assurance programme for locally grown and marketed fresh produce, New Zealand GAP.
New Zealand GAP – formerly the New Zealand Fresh Produce Approved Supplier Programme – is a quality assurance programme that ensures best practices are in place for the production, packaging and distribution of fruit, vegetables and flowers. The programme covers 80% of all New Zealand domestically grown and marketed fresh produce.
Over the last four months the programme has undergone a substantial review to ensure it continues to meet market demands. The major change was to the programme’s name – it is now known as New Zealand GAP. Changes were also made to the programme’s content, for example stepping up the guidance around nutrient usage.
Russell Jordan, Chair of the New Zealand GAP Management Committee, says that the changes should make it easier for New Zealand exporters of fresh produce to access international markets.
“The GAP concept is well understood by overseas retailers. Exporters we’ve spoken to say incorporating Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) into the programme’s name will make it easier to promote overseas because it clearly demonstrates a commitment to best practice in regards to safe food production.
“The new name promotes the key benefit of the programme to all customers in the supply chain by making it clear what the programme stands for – good agricultural practice,” he said.
“New Zealand has a reputation for growing some of the freshest and safest fresh vegetables, fruit and flowers in the world. We believe that the changes we’ve made as a result of the review will enhance this reputation,” said Mr Jordan.
The new name will also benefit New Zealand GAP Approved Suppliers selling to the local market because it clearly identifies produce as being safe to eat and New Zealand-grown. This is very important for the industry in light of growing demand from consumers for locally grown produce.
New Zealand GAP’s Management Committee worked with Approved Suppliers, retailers, Product Group Managers and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority to ensure that the changes to the programme reflect current food production best practice.
Horticulture New Zealand will begin using the new name and logo from the beginning of August. For more information visit www.newzealandgap.co.nz.