Feb 15 2018

Monthly Update February 2018

Your industry: your voice. Commodity Levy Referendum 2018

In July this year we will be calling on all commercial fresh tomato growers to vote in a commodity levy referendum which will provide ongoing funding for TomatoesNZ’ s activities. 

Referendums are held every six years and it is your opportunity to show your support for the work we do on behalf of the fresh tomato sector. We will also be asked to vote to support the broader fruit and vegetable industry-wide work done by Horticulture NZ in their levy referendum which will happen simultaneously.

The Commodity Levies (Vegetables and Fruit) Order 2013, which includes the fresh tomato levy, other vegetable product group levies, and the levy funding Horticulture NZ, expires in May 2019.  To ensure we have funding in the future we need to submit an application to the Ministry for Primary Industries for a new commodity levy order by September 2018. 

Voting on the new levy proposal is expected to open on 1st July and run for six weeks. 

As advised prior to our AGM last year, TomatoesNZ is proposing that the new fresh tomato commodity levy will initially be 0.35% (35 cents per $100 of sales), which is the same as the current levy rate, and the maximum levy rate will be raised to 0.50% (50 cents per $100 of sales) of value at the first point of sale (for domestic sales) or Free on Board for exports. Raising the maximum rate from the current 0.35% to 0.50% will bring it closer to where it was previously (a maximum of 0.525% under the 2007 levy order).   The reason for the proposed increase to the levy is to provide TomatoesNZ with increased funding, should it be required, to invest in areas such as research and development, advocacy and risk management.  The rate would only move up from 0.35% by vote at an AGM, so everyone will be kept informed along with having a say on this, should it be required.

Further information detailing the levy proposal and referendum process will be posted to growers and included on the TomatoesNZ website in April. 

We would be pleased to hear tomato growers’ thoughts on our current and future work and on the levy proposal at any time. Please get in touch with Karen Orr, karen.orr@hortnz.co.nz or Helen Barnes, helen.barnes@hortnz.co.nz, Freephone 0508 467 869; or any members of the TomatoesNZ board (listed on tomatoesnz.co.nz/about/board/).


“Exotic Pests” fact sheets available

We have recently added another five “fact sheets” covering our most unwanted exotic tomato pests.  The printable sheets have photos and descriptions of the pests that are a problem for fresh tomato growers elsewhere in the world. They can be downloaded from the “Biosecurity” page on the TomatoesNZ website.  The following biosecurity risk pests are described:

  1. Chilli thrips,
  2. Tomato torrado virus (ToTV),
  3. Tomato leafminer,
  4. Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV),
  5. Vegetable leaf miners.
  6. Flea beetles (Epitrix sp.)
  7. Capsicum chlorosis virus (CaCV)
  8. Potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd)
  9. Black bean aphid
  10. Viroids


Greenhouse surveys still open

You may have noticed we’ve started the year with a renewed emphasis on gathering current information with two surveys sent out by email recently.   Thank you to those who have already completed the surveys. We know this is an extremely busy time of the year and really appreciate you taking the time to complete them.  If you haven’t received them it may be because we do not have a current email address for you.   Please contact Karen Orr at TomatoesNZ to receive the surveys: Karen.orr@hortnz.co.nz or 04-494 9984.

 The first survey sent prior to Christmas is on biosecurity and it’s aimed at gathering benchmarking information on biosecurity practices that tomato growers currently have in place, and gain an understanding an how growers prefer to receive future information on biosecurity.   

The second survey is on greenhouse energy use and waste in covered vegetable crops. With the current government focus on carbon and climate change we feel it is very necessary to have the most up-to-date data to front-foot submissions and advocacy in this area.   

We will close the surveys on the 28th February. If you have any questions or concerns about the surveys please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.