4 February 2020

In this issue

Mike's Blog

Capitalism vs. prescription, and the environment

Jacinda Ardern said capitalism has been a blatant failure, but so much of what happens in New Zealand is prescribed by government. A partnership between government and business is needed to achieve climate goals.

Read the full blog here.

Grower support

HortNZ Scholarships for 2020

Every year, HortNZ offers scholarships to New Zealand tertiary students and trainees who show a special interest in the fruit and vegetable industry.

This year sees the addition of a new postgraduate $10,000 scholarship because the HortNZ Board recognises the importance of supporting learning to help horticulture thrive and meet future challenges head-on.

The types of scholarships available are:  
  • new $10,000 Postgraduate
  • $4500 Undergraduate
  • $500 Industry Training.

Get your applications in! 

Applications must be submitted by Friday 20 March 2020.  Forms are available at the link below and must be submitted via email to  Please contact Jacqui Stalknecht (04) 494 9978 with any queries.
Click for more info

Fruit fly response ends 

Biosecurity New Zealand has ended its fruit fly response in Northcote, and has lifted restrictions on the movement of fruit and vegetables on Auckland’s North Shore.

The move signals the end of an almost year-long operation, triggered by the discovery of a Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the area in February 2019.

HortNZ Deputy Chief Executive, Leanne Stewart says HortNZ is very pleased with the successful response.  ‘It’s been great to see government and industry working well together to protect the future of the $6 billion and growing, New Zealand horticulture industry.’    

The response has been a collaborative effort between Biosecurity New Zealand, horticulture industry partners, AsureQuality, a number of local authorities and the community.

Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson, Dr Cath Duthie says the response is the second fully cost-shared biosecurity response under the Government Industry Agreement. 

‘The horticulture industry has been a huge contributor to the effectiveness of the operation. All up, this response is likely to cost around $18 million, which is a considerable sum of money. However, when you balance this with the significant management and trade impacts on New Zealand’s horticulture industry, it’s a sound investment,' says Dr Duthie.  
Click here to read more

Ensuring that growers can continue to grow while reducing greenhouse gas emissions

HortNZ appeared in front of the Environment Select Committee last week, as part of its work to ensure that growers can continue to grow while reducing their emissions and environmental impact.  Click here for a link to the story on RNZ.

HortNZ Natural Resources and Environment Manager, Michelle Sands says proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) would see the phase out of free allocation without taking into account food security.

‘Free allocation is important to ensure New Zealanders have access to fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the year, without relying on imports that may have higher carbon footprints.  At the moment, agriculture and glasshouse growers are eligible for free allocation of carbon credits, reducing their exposure to the full costs of offsetting emissions under the ETS. 

‘In our submission, we recommended that the phase out of free allocation be variable – as opposed to blanket – across the sectors, so that New Zealand can achieve global emission reductions and maintain food security in the long-term, while easing the social transition in the short-term.’ 

While fruit and vegetables have relatively low greenhouse gas emissions compared to other food sources, glasshouse growers produce greenhouse gas emissions from heating, and all growers produce emissions from the use of fertiliser.

‘Everyone – rural and urban – in New Zealand needs to do their bit to reduce emissions,’ says Michelle.  ‘HortNZ supports the He Waka Eke Noa primary sector and government partnership’s approach to achieving emissions goals.  

'Reduction of emissions requires on farm and orchard action.  That’s why we support the focus on farm level actions to reduce emissions as the first priority.’  
Click here to read more
In the media
RNZ: HortNZ warn that many vegetables might stop being grown here in winter

The Spinoff: What New Zealand could learn from the Cuban agricultural revolution

Rural News: Milestone for Ahuwhenua

Wairarapa Times Age: Pea growing ban nearing an end

Rural News: Making pears cool again!

RNZ Country Life: A Plum Job

Bay of Plenty Young Grower this weekend!

The Bay of Plenty Young Grower competition gets underway on Saturday 8 February, with eight contestants battling it out at the Te Puke A&P Showgrounds.  Last year's competition was a great success with Alex Ashe, a Technical Advisor from Farmlands, being named Bay of Plenty’s Young Fruit Grower for 2019. 

The eight contestants are Emily Crum, Bryce Morrison, Aurora McGee-Thomas, Melissa van den Heuvel, Katherine Bell, Megan Fox, William Milsom, and Harry Singh.  Best of luck to all the contestants.
Click here for more info

Covered crop grower workshop at Lincoln, 18 February 2020

Tomatoes NZ and Vegetables NZ are holding a workshop at Lincoln University on Tuesday 18 February from 9am to 12.30pm to update growers on covered crop research.  The workshop will cover biocontrols, tamarixia releases, farm environment plans, automation and more.

If you are interested, please RSVP to Karen Orr by midday on Friday 14 February and advise if you have any special dietary requirements.
Click here for full details

Horticulture Conference 2020 - Save the date

The 2020 Horticulture Conference will be at Mystery Creek on 29-31 July. To view a sponsorship prospectus, email Amy Miller. More details to be announced soon.
For sponsorship information, click here
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