Funding GIA readiness and response
It is two years now since TomatoesNZ first approached fresh tomato growers about our sector signing up to the Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response (GIA). That consultation included information on how our GIA commitments would be funded, including using the Commodity Levy for some aspects (such as minimum commitments and some “readiness” work), and in the future, implementing a Biosecurity Levy (under the Biosecurity Act) to fund biosecurity responses (i.e. responding to a pest incursion).
Tomatoes NZ Inc. submitted our application to sign the GIA Deed earlier this year, and MPI has almost completed its assessment of the draft before providing it to the Minister for consideration.
However, since the original consultation with growers on how GIA would be funded, the Government has indicated that a Biosecurity Act Levy can be used to fund GIA Deed readiness activities, as well as response activities.
What the readiness activities are and how much they will cost will be determined in specific pest Operational Agreements (OAs) – see the box below. The only OA that has been finalised so far is the Fruit Fly Operational Agreement (FFOA). We will be consulting with growers before signing this OA and any others, including on the costs and how they will be funded.
A GIA Deed readiness activity is an activity undertaken to prevent or reduce the impact of an unwanted organism. Readiness activities are only undertaken on signing an operational agreement (OA).
Examples of readiness activities under OAs include:
- Researching possible treatments in the event of a pest incursion or management of that pest.
- Surveillance for those unwanted pests.
Further information on all aspects of Government Industry Agreements can be found at www.gia.org.nz
If you have any comments around the approach to a future Biosecurity Act Levy being used for GIA Deed readiness activities as well as for responses, please provide feedback to Tomatoes NZ Inc. by 30 June 2016 by emailing to Helen.Barnes@hortnz.co.nz or in writing to Tomatoes NZ Inc., PO Box 10232, The Terrace, Wellington, 6143.