Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Zespri Welcomes Government Innovation Initiative

11 March 2008

Zespri Welcomes Government Innovation Initiative

ZESPRI Chief Executive Tony Nowell today applauded the New Zealand Government’s announcement of a $700 million fund towards pastoral and food innovation, saying it would provide the support needed to lift New Zealand’s profile as a leader in sustainable primary production. New Zealand Fast Forward is a government-industry partnership launched today in Wellington by Prime Minister Helen Clark, Minister of Agriculture Jim Anderton and Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Pete Hodgson.

The Government is proposing to invest $85 - $100 million per annum over the next 10-15 years, subject to industry matching the investment dollarfor- dollar, towards initiatives to lift the environmental performance, global competitiveness, dynamism and value of New Zealand’s pastoral and food industries. Tony Nowell was invited by the Prime Minister to speak at the launch in Wellington, in part as the former co-Chair of the Food and Beverage Taskforce, and also representing the New Zealand kiwifruit industry as Chief Executive of ZESPRI.

“ZESPRI strongly supports the New Zealand Government’s initiative, which aligns with our own strategy of investing in research and development in order to sustainably grow our industry in the longer term,” Mr Nowell said to the ministers and other dignitaries present at the launch.

“As the kiwifruit industry’s single desk marketer, ZESPRI already has the critical mass needed to fund significant levels of industry-good innovation investment. We see New Zealand Fast Forward as an opportunity to advance this investment and look forward to helping lift New Zealand’s profile as a leader in sustainable primary production.” ZESPRI has been invited to sit on the committee which is tasked with designing the governance framework for the ongoing partnership. In order to maximise the opportunities this funding provides, the Government intends to capitalise on existing innovation frameworks and partnerships; although any one-for-one matching will only take place on new initiatives that build on New Zealand’s core capabilities and deliver strong competitive advantages.

“ZESPRI currently invests approximately $8 million a year on innovation towards increasing industry efficiency, enhancing the value of existing products and developing new products. We’re currently working to assess planned spend for 2008 and beyond, to ensure our industry can take full advantage of the new opportunities that New Zealand Fast Forward presents.”

An example of the success of ZESPRI’s innovation spend is Hort16A, a new kiwifruit variety developed in partnership with HortResearch and exclusive to ZESPRI. ZESPRI™ GOLD was launched commercially in 2000, and now forms a quarter of ZESPRI’s annual sales of $1 billion plus.

ZESPRI already has a world-leading breeding programme with HortResearch, but Mr Nowell says there is plenty of scope for improvement. “New cultivars are integral to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry’s competitiveness, but it’s a lengthy process to get it right. ZESPRI™ GOLD took 14 years to develop. “We currently have a number of seedlings under evaluation which test well against our quality criteria so we’ll be considering how to take advantage of the announcement today to help us increase the probability of this programme delivering the world’s third-leading kiwifruit variety, after ZESPRI™ GREEN and ZESPRI™ GOLD.”

The Food and Beverage Taskforce released a report in August 2006 which included eight recommendations considered necessary for the food and beverage sector to grow and prosper. Tony Nowell said New Zealand Fast Forward, along with the $100 million food and beverage work programme announced by the Government in July last year, provides the opportunity to address many of the Taskforce’s recommendations.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


By May 2018: Wider, Earlier Microbead Ban

The sale and manufacture of wash-off products containing plastic microbeads will be banned in New Zealand earlier than previously expected, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today. More>>


Snail-ier Mail: NZ Post To Ditch FastPost

New Zealand Post customers will see a change to how they can send priority mail from 1 January 2018. The FastPost service will no longer be available from this date. More>>


Property Institute: English Backs Of Debt To Income Plan

Property Institute of New Zealand Chief Executive Ashley Church is applauding today’s decision, by Prime Minister Bill English, to take Debt-to-income ratios off the table as a tool available to the Reserve Bank. More>>


Divesting: NZ Super Fund Shifts Passive Equities To Low-Carbon

The NZ$35 billion NZ Super Fund’s NZ$14 billion global passive equity portfolio, 40% of the overall Fund, is now low-carbon, the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation announced today. More>>


Split Decision - Appeal Planned: EPA Allows Taranaki Bight Seabed Mine

The Decision-making Committee, appointed by the Board of the Environmental Protection Authority to decide a marine consent application by Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd, has granted consent, subject to conditions, for the company to mine iron sands off the South Taranaki Bight. More>>