NZ: Kiwiberry growers join GIA biosecurity partnership

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NZ: Kiwiberry growers join GIA biosecurity partnership

The New Zealand government has approved the application for NZ KiwiBerry Growers Incorporated (NZKBG) to join the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) biosecurity partnership.

NZKBG will be represented by Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH), which became the first industry group to sign the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) Deed for Biosecurity Readiness and Response in May 2014.

NZKBG chair, Geoff Oliver said joining the GIA partnership would give the kiwiberry industry the opportunity to influence decision-making in the event of a biosecurity response.

"This means we can all work together on managing and responding to the biosecurity risks that impact our industry," Oliver said.

"The kiwiberry sector is going through a significant growth phase, and production is projected to we must do all we can to understand and manage our biggest biosecurity risk and the impacts they could have on our industry."

The kiwiberry sector comprises around 40 hectares, most of which is based in the Bay of Plenty region. Last year NZKBG generated NZ$4.2 million (US$3 million) in revenue, of which 90% came from exports.

KVH’s chief executive Barry O’Neil said the group was pleased to represent the kiwiberry industry at the decision-making table.

"We have a commonality of biosecurity issues. Kiwiberry are likely to be susceptible to many of the same pests and diseases as other kiwifruit cultivars, so working together in partnership makes sense," he said.

"We are currently working to determine what pests and diseases will be the biggest threats to kiwiberry and identify what readiness activities are required to mitigate the risk of these threats."

GIA secretariat manager Steve Rich welcomed NZKBG on behalf of the GIA partnership saying the new addition further strengthened efforts to better deliver biosecurity outcomes.

"It’s great to see sectors facing similar risks and concerns joining forces for the purposes of delivering better biosecurity," Rich said.

"One of the key benefits of GIA for smaller primary sectors like KiwiBerry is the ability to partner directly with the other players in the system."

NZKBG joins Kiwifruit Vine Health, Pipfruit New Zealand Inc., New Zealand Pork, New Zealand Equine Health Association, Onions New Zealand Inc., the NZ Forestry Owners Association, The New Zealand Avocado Growers’ Association, NZ Citrus Growers’ Inc. and the Ministry for Primary Industries under GIA.

Photo: SimonQ錫濛譙, Via Flickr Creative Commons

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