Nov 15 2015

Applying to sign GIA

Applying to sign the GIA Deed

November 2015

We are finalising Tomatoes New Zealand Inc.’s application to sign the Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response Deed. TomatoesNZ consulted with growers in mid-2014 about becoming a signatory, and a remit was passed at the 2014 AGM giving mandate for TomatoesNZ to sign on behalf of its members. The information sheet and FAQ's about signing the deed that were provided at the time of consultation are available for download below.

The deed application describes:

  • TNZ Inc.’s eligibility to sign the deed and a description of who TNZ Inc. represents and how we represent and are accountable to the interests of the sector.
  • How we plan to fund GIA commitments. This includes: 
    • using commodity levy funds, to pay for “minimum commitments” required under GIA, and for readiness activities such as establishing or participating in surveillance programmes; 
    • establishing a Biosecurity levy to be implemented if funding requirements exceed the capability of the existing commodity levy (e.g. for a major response); 
  • How mandate has been sought from the sector for GIA commitment, and how TNZ Inc. plans to consult and communicate with members in the future.

Once submitted to the Minister, we expect there will be a wait of some months for our application to be assessed and approved.  Once approved, TNZ Inc. will become a signatory to the deed. This provides the opportunity to have a greater say in biosecurity activities, and what we pay for those activities. Non-signatories face being charged for MPI’s biosecurity activities, without having any say in what those activities are. One vehicle for having that say is via operational agreements (OAs).

Fruit Fly Operational Agreement

Deed Signatories can enter into OA’s for specific pests or groups of pests. OA’s will define exactly what readiness and response activities will be undertaken jointly by TNZ Inc. and MPI and any other Signatories who would benefit from readiness and response activities for that particular pest/s, how costs will be shared, and decisions made (e.g. in the event of an incursion). TNZ Inc. may propose OA’s, with cost-shared readiness and response plans, for pests that would not have been considered by MPI as priorities before GIA.

The first OA, which has been under development for the past 16 months, is for Fruit Flies. This involves a number of industry fruit and vegetable sectors and MPI.  Because the Fresh Tomato sector is considered a “beneficiary” of fruit fly readiness and response activities, we have been actively engaged in the development of the agreement through representation on the Interim Fruit Fly Council.

It is expected that the OA will be ready for signing in late November, and cost sharing for readiness will begin from July 2016, and for responses from 1 July 2017.
We plan to consult further with members about the costs and benefits, before deciding to sign up to the Fruitfly OA.

Tagged with