The activities of TomatoesNZ are funded by levies, which is paid by all commercial fresh tomato growers.
The Commodity Levies (Fresh Tomatoes) Order 2019 came into effect on 1st April 2019 and is valid for six years. A copy of the levy order can be downloaded here. A separate biosecurity levy of 0.10% (10c per $100) commenced on 3rd February 2020. This goes towards paying specifically for biosecurity responses and is also collected at the first point of sale (wholesaler, retailer or if you sell direct, then paid to TomatoesNZ). More information is available here.
The current commodity levy rate is 0.35% (or 35c per $100 of sales). The ceiling for the maximum levy rate is 0.50% (or 50c per $100 of sales). Any shift from the initial levy rate of 0.35% must be approved by levy payers at an AGM.
An information sheet about the levies tomato growers are required to pay is available by clicking here.
What will the levy be spent on?
TomatoesNZ does fresh tomato specific work, which is separate to the wider industry work that Horticulture New Zealand do.
For example, funding for research projects into tomato pest control and environmental management; export market access; biosecurity; and advocacy with government on behalf of the fresh tomato industry are all funded by the Fresh Tomato levy. That work cannot occur without grower support for the fresh tomato levy.
The levies may be spent on the following activities relating to fresh tomatoes or fresh tomato growers:
• Research and Development
• Market Development & Promotion
• Development of Quality Assurance
• Education and training
• Information and communication
• Day to day administration of TomatoesNZ
• Grower Representation
The levy will not be spent on any trading or commercial activity.
What does TomatoesNZ do for growers?
Your fresh tomato levy funds TomatoesNZ to do a range of activities including:
- Pest management and crop protection – Sustainable pest management is important to our growers. We successfully imported Tamarixia in 2017 – the tomato and potato psyllid biocontrol agent (it kills TPP nymphs).
- Other pest control work includes hunting for the previously released biocontrol agent Macrolophus, registration of new whitefly agrichemicals, and information on agrichemical use, along with a UV light trial at Lincoln for pysllids.
- Biosecurity readiness – it’s important we reduce risks and are prepared for biosecurity issues that we may be faced with. Recently we have been involved in poinsettia thrips surveillance work with MPI and industry partners. We are pleased to report that with the work undertaken it is now officially eliminated from NZ.
- We are also active with preparations to fight Brown Marmorated Stink Bug which is one of the biggest biosecurity threats we can face. We are currently seeking support to release a biocontrol agent (the Samurai Wasp) against BMSB if it is found in NZ. We are also involved in the Fruit Fly readiness work programme.
- Developing exports – to increase the value of the fresh tomato industry in New Zealand, exports are vital. TomatoesNZ actively monitors changes in export regulations and access, working with exporters to develop new markets. This includes undertaking a seafreight project for shipping tomatoes to markets beyond Australia which has resulted in successful seafreight to Japan – a high value market for our tomatoes.
- Health, Safety & Environment – we provide relevant information to growers such as producing an Agrichemical Residue Information chart and best practice guidelines.
- Your voice with government – we advocate on behalf of tomato growers on issues that may affect our industry such as irradiated food labelling and the Emissions Trading Scheme. Strong relationships with government agencies are critical to enable growth.