Primary Industries Minister, Hon Nathan Guy has approved the application for NZ KiwiBerry Growers Incorporated (NZKBG) to join the GIA partnership.
NZKBG will be represented by Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH), which became the first industry group to sign the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) Deed for Biosecurity Readiness and Response in May 2014.
NZKBG Chair, Geoff Oliver said joining the GIA partnership, will give the kiwiberry industry the opportunity to influence decision making in the event of a biosecurity response.
“This means we can all work together on managing and responding to the biosecurity risks that impact our industry,” says Mr Oliver.
“The kiwiberry sector is going through a significant growth phase, and production is projected to rise from 140,000 export trays in 2016 to 200,000 trays in 2016, so we must do all we can to understand and manage our biggest biosecurity risk and the impacts they could have on our industry.”
The kiwiberry sector comprises of around 40 producing, or soon to be producing, hectares – most of which is based in the Bay of Plenty region. Last year NZKBG generated $4.2m in revenue, of which 90 percent came from exports.
KVH’s Chief Executive Barry O’Neil says KVH is pleased to represent the kiwiberry industry at the decision making table. “We have a commonality of biosecurity issues. Kiwiberry are likely to be susceptible to many of the same pests and diseases as other kiwifruit cultivars, so working together in partnership makes sense”, says Mr O’Neil.
“We are currently working to determine what pests and diseases will be the biggest threats to kiwiberry and identify what readiness activities are required to mitigate the risk of these threats.”
GIA Secretariat Manager, Steve Rich welcomed NZKBG on behalf of the GIA partnership saying the new addition further strengthens efforts to better deliver biosecurity outcomes. “It’s great to see sectors facing similar risks and concerns joining forces for the purposes of delivering better biosecurity,” says Mr Rich.
“One of the key benefits of GIA for smaller primary sectors like KiwiBerry is the ability to partner directly with the other players in the system.”
NZKBG joins Kiwifruit Vine Health, Pipfruit New Zealand Inc., New Zealand Pork, New Zealand Equine Health Association, Onions New Zealand Inc., the NZ Forestry Owners Association, The New Zealand Avocado Growers’ Association, NZ Citrus Growers’ Inc. and the Ministry for Primary Industries under GIA.
About Government Industry Agreement (GIA)
GIA operates as a partnership between industry and government to manage pests and diseases that could badly damage New Zealand's primary industries, our economy, and our environment. It aims to improve biosecurity outcomes and give everyone the confidence that the best decisions are being made.