Dec 03 2021

December update

Summer promotions

Over summer we have plans in place to showcase the wonderful tomatoes you grow, and try a few new and creative ideas to entice more people to enjoy tomatoes through our summer promotions.   Firstly, we have engaged food writer and previous Masterchef contestant, Vanessa Baxter, to put together a full marketing campaign using social, digital and some traditional media.  Vanessa is an expert with food and her passion for freshly grown tomatoes shines through in the work she produces.   Vanessa will be publishing regularly on NZ Tomatoes Facebook and Instagram pages, and plans to have a bit of fun with tomatoes on TikTok. 

Please like, follow and share our social media pages using @nztomatoes.   

Vanessa Baxter

Our friends at 5+A Day are sharing beautiful photos and recipes using tomatoes in the lead up to Christmas.  You can share their great work by going to @5adaynz.

To complement the great work Vanessa and 5+ A Day are doing we are working with popular chef Simon Gault. Simon will be known to many of you from his frequent media appearances and as a celebrity chef judge on Masterchef NZ.  He’s been busy over the past few months honing his filming skills and has been publishing lots of helpful short cooking videos in his social media and You Tube channels.  Simon will be filming a series of tomato and summer vegetable videos during January and February which we will share with you on our social media, and we’d love you to share these too.  We can’t wait to see what fresh creations he comes up with for us!

 

Sector decarbonisation and emissions reduction plan update

If it feels like we’ve spent most of this year talking about energy use and lowering emissions; because we have!  There have been several rounds of consultation this year, the most recent being a discussion paper on the Government’s draft “Emissions Reduction Plan”.

In February, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) released their Draft Advice for consultation which included advice on the first three emissions budgets and on policy direction for the Government’s first emissions reduction plan.  Their finalised advice was tabled in parliament at the end of May and made public early June.  It takes into account feedback from the approx. 15,000 submissions received on their initial draft advice.

In May we submitted on a proposal by the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) for phasing out fossil fuels in process heat, with a phasing out of coal in existing sites by 2037 for low and medium temperature process heat.  And in September we provided feedback on MfE’s consultation to reform some aspects of the ETS industrial allocations including eligibility criteria, calculations, data and how best to support growers.   

To help with solutions, TomatoesNZ and Vegetables NZ (representing other greenhouse vegetable growers), partnered in an industry collaboration agreement with the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority (EECA).  The collaboration agreement supports projects to help the sector with energy efficiency measures and renewable energy conversions.  So far EECA have co-funded sector data analysis, a technology scan, and work on a sector decarbonisation plan.  We will share information on this plan to improve energy efficiency and transition to low emission fuels with growers over the next few months.   

This year saw the start of Government-run quarterly ETS auctions to allocate New Zealand units (NZUs) to market participants.  We have seen the price of units rise this year from $35 to $65 on the spot market, with the next auction on 1st December.   This rapid increase in carbon pricing, on top of other costs increases, is very much starting to bite.

To help access useful information on greenhouse energy efficiency measures for NZ growers, we have published a series of articles written by local greenhouse specialist Elly Nederhoff.  There are now fourteen articles covering areas from humidity control to climate screens.  This series of articles is also available  under ‘Energy efficiency for growers’ and we encourage you to read them if you haven’t already done so.  

Crates

We had a constructive meeting with PACT group (owner of Viscount FCC) in early November to discuss concerns raised by growers on crate supply and to gain a better understanding of their crate cleaning process to help avoid spread of diseases such as PepMV.  We were reassured that they are fully aware of the situation and working hard to improve supply.  They have 90,000 new crates due to start arriving from early December and they will be aiming to get these crates fed into the supply circuit as soon as possible. 

They also take crate cleaning very seriously and are open to feedback so they can trace any issues in this area.  They have improved their crate washing process quite substantially over the past few months and will soon trial a new steam cleaning unit in their Auckland plant.

They did raise some concern that growers may be over-ordering crates to ensure they had enough supply on hand for orders.  This creates a vicious circle when crates are tight and they do request that growers work closely with them to only order what they need.

tomato crate resize