Vegetable Industry Show-Cased
24 November 2006
Vegetable Industry Show-Cased To Government Officials
Pukekohe vegetable growers ‘show-cased’ their $1.5 billion industry this week to 25 central and local government officials as part of a Horticulture New Zealand led familiarisation tour of the vegetable industry .
Horticulture New Zealand regularly hold the tour for government officials who are actively involved in developing policy and standards for the vegetable industry so they can view the industry first-hand at an operational level and meet with growers to better understand the issues and opportunities they face.
Feedback from the tour was extremely positive with many saying they had learned a lot from the day’s visits.
Sharon Wagener, a Senior Programme Manager with the New Zealand Food Safety Authority, said the tour was a worthwhile experience and would definitely help her in her day-to-day work.
"I was surprised by the scale of some of the operations we visited and the high level of technology being used, including the smaller operators demonstrating pretty savvy and shrewd business skills. Overall, the day was very informative and illuminating, providing extremely useful background knowledge for us in our work with the industry,” said Ms Wagener.
Russell Jordan, Chairman of the Fresh Vegetable Product Group of Horticulture New Zealand was also pleased with how the day went. “The tour is a chance for local vegetable growers to ‘show-case’ the various positive initiatives being taken by members of their industry in areas such as sustainable production and research and innovation.”
“It is also an opportunity for growers to raise any questions they may have with the officials across areas including seasonal labour, employment and training, food safety, biosecurity, transport, the environment and resource management issues.”
Officials visited several businesses in the Pukekohe region including:
• a leading glasshouse tomato grower employing cutting edge technology in areas such as pest management;
• a large third-generation family-owned and operated potato, onion, carrot and persimmon grower, packer and exporter;
• a smaller scale family-owned and operated outdoor vegetable grower;
• a local market greenhouse telegraph cucumber grower;
• and a fresh cut salad processor.
There had been an overwhelmingly positive response to the tour from central and local government. The 25 attendees included officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Biosecurity New Zealand, the New Zealand Food Safety Authority, the Ministry of Social Development, the Department of Labour, the Inland Revenue Department, Land Transport New Zealand, the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the Ministry for the Environment, the Environmental Risk Management Authority and local government authorities Environment Waikato and Auckland Regional Council.