Monthly Update - June 2015
Forming an Incorporated Society for the purposes of signing GIA
Since having the remit to sign the GIA Deed passed at the TNZ AGM last year, the TNZ board has explored options to sign the Deed without the need to form an Incorporated Society. We are now at a point where all options have been exhausted and in order to sign the GIA Deed as well as have a vote specifically for TNZ members we must form an Incorporated Society. Forming an Incorporated Society
- enables TNZ to become a separate legal entity in order to become an eligible Industry Organisation for the purposes of signing a Government Industry Agreement (GIA) Deed.
- entitles TNZ to participate in biosecurity incursion decision making.
We are currently drafting rules to meet the requirements of the Incorporated Society Act 1908. In the main part these rules will reflect the current TNZ rules whilst also taking the opportunity to clarify any sections that are unclear. Once approved by the TNZ Board, growers will be notified of the proposed rules. Further information will be sent with information about the AGM and Conference. The Incorporated Society will be formed during the TomatoesNZ AGM in Rotorua on the 28th July.
Due to legislation it is important to note that when forming an Incorporated Society present members of TomatoesNZ are not be able to be transferred to the new Incorporated Society unless they have signed as a new member to TNZ Inc. New TNZ Inc registration forms will be sent out to all current TNZ members once the Incorporated Society has been formed.
Government Industry Agreements (GIA) on Biosecurity and Signing the Deed
In September 2009, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) announced a new approach to preparing for and managing new pests and diseases that might arrive in New Zealand. MPI advised that a new partnership approach would be developed for biosecurity readiness and response, in the form of Government Industry Agreements (GIA). TomatoesNZ has participated in discussions between the primary industry sectors and MPI (and previously, MAF) about how GIA would work. Industry groups are now being asked to sign the GIA Deed to formalise the partnership between government and vegetable producers.
The GIA Deed is a legal document which includes the following key components:
- Closer engagement between MPI and industry on improving biosecurity systems
- Joint decision making on preparing for and responding to pest/disease incursions
- Sharing the costs of these activities between Government and Industry.
Industry groups across the primary industries have been consulting with their growers on signing the “Deed” and thus becoming part of GIA.
The current system
Currently, the Government funds and makes all the decisions on biosecurity activities. MPI does not have to take industry viewpoints and priorities into account. MPI may consult with industry but the final decision on whether to respond to a pest incursion lies solely with MPI. There are only a few specific pest response plans currently in existence (beyond fruit fly) which means responses to incursions can be delayed while investigations are undertaken and decisions on funding made. The Great White Butterfly find in Nelson/Tasman is an example of the delays that can occur. These delays can affect the likelihood that eradication will be successful and can increase the cost of the response.
The GIA system
Under GIA, Government and industry groups sign a Deed which commits both parties to joint decision making and joint cost sharing. This partnership-based approach will mean that there is more certainty that high priority pests will be found and responded to in an appropriate time frame. The preparation work done in advance would mean that decisions on how to respond are pre-agreed. Improving preparedness for priority pests will result in faster and less costly responses which are more likely to be successful.
Once industry groups and Government have signed the GIA Deed, they then enter into discussions about Operational Agreements for specific pests. It is not a requirement to have an Operational Agreement but these are the documents that outline what preparedness and response activities will be undertaken and how these activities will be funded for a pest or a group of pests. An Operational Agreement may involve more than one industry group, i.e. where multiple crops are affected by a particular pest or group of pests (e.g. fruit flies). Each industry group is likely to eventually enter into multiple Operational Agreements that cover a range of key pests.
Under GIA, industry and Government will share the costs of readiness and response activities. The proportion of cost share is set under each Operational Agreement and the industry share will be based on the proportion of the benefit that it receives from the cost shared activity. However, the Government has committed to funding a minimum of 50% of the readiness and response activities for any Operational Agreement. Industry groups that sign the Deed can set fiscal caps (a maximum dollar contribution) on their expenditure so that costs are controlled.
If more than one industry group benefits, the maximum 50% cost share is split between these groups. Where an industry product group is considered to be a beneficiary of response activities, but they have not signed the Deed, the Government will levy that group for their share of costs regardless. However, they will have no say in decisions that are made.
Guest Speaker – Greenhouse Hygiene Specialist
We are pleased to announce that we will have Ines van Marrewijk - Greenhouse Hygiene Specialist travelling from The Netherlands to speak at the AGM/Conference this year. Ines includes disinfection, food safety, pesticide residues, water quality, water re-use, hygiene in relation to difficult diseases in tomato crop and treatment of plant diseases as her specialist topics. With such a breadth of topics we are still finalising what will be included in her presentation but will aim to get the most of her many years of experience.
Date and Registrations
The 2015 TomatoesNZ AGM and conference are scheduled for 28/29 July in Rotorua. Registrations for the 2015 Tomatoes NZ AGM and conference are now open. TomatoesNZ is offering its members the opportunity to claim back the conference registration fee plus up to $250 towards the cost of travel and accommodation.
If you want to take advantage of this you should register yourself for the conference and submit a claim form with receipts attached. The funding pool is limited to about 15 growers, so funding will be provided (for one person per tomato growing entity) on a first-in-first served basis. Claim forms can be found on the TNZ website or by contacting Lynda Banks on 04 494 9972.
It is nearing the time of year when we expect to see Australian Irradiated Tomatoes arriving in New Zealand. If you believe a retailer is selling unlabelled irradiated produce, you can register a complaint on the Ministry for Primary Industries phone hotline on 0800 693721 or email email@example.com.