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Vegetable Growers Eager To See New Government’s Plans For The Sector

Vegetable growers from around the country are eager to learn more about the new Government’s plans for the sector, says Vegetables NZ chair, John Murphy.

‘While the November 2023 food price index released today shows vegetable prices are at more reasonable levels thanks to better supply, the recent bad weather in Gisborne has once again shown us that vegetable shortages can be just one more adverse weather event away, even if it’s due to the roading network.

‘As a sector, we’ve started to engage with our new Ministers, who seem very keen to help us by making food production and water storage a permitted activity under new resource management legislation.

‘We’re eager to engage with new Ministers and Government officials to help them understand our sector better, and how we can work together to ensure New Zealanders have improved access to fresh, healthy locally grown vegetables at reasonable prices. This is a multi-faceted challenge, particularly when you consider that only a low 10.4% of adult New Zealanders are eating enough vegetables (Source: New Zealand Health Survey 2021/2022).

John says Vegetables NZ believes expanding vegetable production within environmental limits is best achieved, in a policy context, through a National Policy Statement for Commercial Vegetable Production.

‘We look forward to discussing what this will entail with the new Government early in the New Year.

‘But in the meantime, we encourage New Zealanders to enjoy lots of fresh, healthy vegetables over the holiday period. Our growers will continue to plant, pick and pack throughout this time, in response to great growing conditions and heightened demand, as that’s what they do and that’s what they enjoy doing: providing New Zealanders with arguably the best vegetables in the world.’

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