HortNZ has set itself up in the following way in response to COVID-19. Please call or email the person/s noted below if you have questions or concerns that fall into their areas.
HortNZ has put together some guidelines on the kinds of measures to have in place, when operating as an essential business under COVID-19 Alert Level 4.
HortNZ is closely monitoring the COVID-19 coronavirus situation and its potential impact on the horticulture industry. The situation is constantly evolving. Please keep an eye on the HortNZ newsletter as well as our website’s homepage. What follows are our latest updates.
Updated at 11am
Updated at 7.30pm March 26
We have just received notice that the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will be visiting packhouses and other horticultural operations across the country from tomorrow.
Coronavirus or Covid 19 has impacted the world. Things that we have all taken for granted are under threat: unrestricted air travel, goods being rapidly shipped around the world and New Zealand being highly connected to the whole world despite being a long way from major population centres.
These guidelines provide advice to horticulture businesses on the kinds of measures Horticulture New Zealand believes members ought to have in place, and to enforce, if they are to be granted and maintain “essential business” status under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 and 4.
As a world we are focusing on people, with the World Health Organisation declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, travel restrictions in place, and events being postponed or cancelled.
The government announced modifications to the wage subsidy scheme on 27 March 2020.
MBIE says door-to-door, local fruit and vegetable box deliveries can go ahead, but all COVID-19 anti-transmission measures must be in place
MBIE has just advised HortNZ that door-to-door, local fruit and vegetable box deliveries can go ahead, but COVID-19 anti-transmission measures must be in place, such as the 2m distancing rule and deliveries being done without individual contact.
We are now nearly a week into lockdown and I feel it is important for me to acknowledge the pressure and uncertainty that growers and others in our essential industry are under. From the reports I am getting, many growers are facing devastation with, as an example, no choice but...
MPI has provided responses to two more grower questions, as below.
Fresh fruit and vegetable consumption in Germany has increased by 100% since they were hit by COVID-19. Empty fruit and vegetable shelves are being spotted every day at Swiss retail stores, as daily order volumes are around 60% greater than normal.
- Essential Services Information- RSE workers- Labour and Jobs- Government Support- Food Safety- NZGAP and GLOBALG.A.P.- Staying well
The New Zealand Treasury has released an assessment on the impact of COVID-19, which makes very depressing reading. Treasury’s most dire prediction is unemployment could reach 26% and almost a third wiped off Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
We know a number of growers have questions about employment as it relates to welfare.
We are all focused on doing our level best not to catch COVID-19.
Learn more about the Health and Safety responsibilities of employers operating essential service businesses during COVID-19 Alert Level 4, and the consequences of not meeting health and safety obligations.
An employer and someone sitting at home without a job have exactly the same problem: none of us know what is going happen as the country works its way through COVID-19.
Immigration New Zealand - part of the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment - released on 1 April information that clarifies the situation for RSE workers and their employers. You can read the information here.
Like a dog howling at the moon, Horticulture New Zealand has been on about the need for New Zealand to have a food security policy and plan.
The Government has announced that a new COVID-19 payment that will be available to essential businesses for essential workers from 6 April 2020.
We all know we need to redeploy unemployed workers. There are numerous ways of finding people who are looking for work. The challenge is getting the right fit for both the worker and the employer, with the skills for the role.
A large number of growers are contacting HortNZ about produce they no longer have a market for due to the closure of independent fruit and vegetable stores and produce markets. Please note we are still in discussions with the Government about reopening the independent stores.
I am proposing that there is a third wave to New Zealand's COVID recovery plan. The first wave focused on the health of people. The second wave is focusing on the economy, with a large number of financial initiatives announced in last week's 2020 Budget.
Click here to read HortNZ's submission to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) requesting recognition of independent fruit and vegetable retailers as an Essential Service, which would allow them to reopen.
It’s time to release our education from the shackles of the past. What worked pre-COVID will simply not work in the new world. If we try and replicate the current education system, growth and recovery will not be enabled.
The Government has announced that a new COVID-19 leave payment scheme will be available to essential businesses for essential workers from 6 April 2020.
In her daily COVID-19 press conference, the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern took the time to praise the horticulture industry for continuing to feed New Zealanders, export produce overseas, and provide New Zealanders who are out of work as a result of COVID-19 with jobs, particularly in the kiwifruit and apple industries.
Due to the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown, we were unable to print the April issues of The Orchardist and NZGrower. However, you can still read the magazines via the links below.
New Zealand onion growers are celebrating being able to export their world class crop to Indonesia again.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has issued guidance for the horticulture industry on operating under Alert Level 4 to:
HortNZ’s Board has reviewed the events planned through winter this year and decided because of COVID-19, the following events are postponed:
The Prime Minister has said that the Government will make a decision about whether and when the country will move to Alert Level 3 on Monday 20 April.
HortNZ is speaking with young people in the industry to see what they have been up to during the COVID-19 lockdown.This week we interview Dylan Hall, a second-year Massey agribusiness student, who comes from an orchard in Gisborne. Dylan is also current treasurer of the Massey Horticulture Society.
Otago Regional Council (ORC) has proposed a plan change to the Regional Plan: Water for Otago for the replacement of deemed permits with water permits, and for the replacement of any water permits expiring prior to 2025.
The Prime Minister has announced that New Zealand will move to Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm on Monday 27 April. For an essential service like horticulture, the move to Level 3 will see retention of the same anti-COVID-19 transmission measures that were put in place under Level 4.
Horizons Ballance Farm Environment Awards winners praise NZGAP’s approach to making compliance straight forward
Woodhaven Gardens, the 2020 Regional Supreme Winner at the Horizons Ballance Farm Environment Awards, are fans of how New Zealand Good Agriculture Practice’s (NZGAP) Environmental Management System (EMS) ‘add-on’ makes compliance more straight forward.
HortNZ is speaking with young people in the industry to see what they have been up to during the COVID-19 lockdown.This week we interview Melissa van den Heuvel who was the winner of the 2020 Bay of Plenty Young Grower Competition and is an Industry Systems Associate at NZ Avocado.
New Zealand Good Agricultural Practice (NZGAP) has joined the rest of New Zealand in the move contactless interaction.
New Zealand horticulture exports reached a record breaking $6.2 billion in the year ending June 2019 - an increase of $720 million from the previous year, and more than 10% of New Zealand’s total merchandise export income.
HortNZ is speaking with young people in the industry to see what they have been up to during the COVID-19 lockdown.
A Bill to give Immigration New Zealand more flexibility during the COVID-19 response and recovery was introduced into Parliament on 5 May.
HortNZ says the plan change that Waikato Regional Council has notified is an improvement on the 2016 proposal but will still affect the local industry’s ability to meet future demand for vegetables.
This page contains the latest COVID-19 information and is updated daily.
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HortNZ has welcomed the 2020 Budget, acknowledging the Government’s support for the primary sector in the COVID-19 recovery.
HortNZ is speaking with young people in the industry to see what they have been up to during the COVID-19 lockdown. This week we interview Regan Judd who was the winner of the 2019 Hawkes Bay Young Fruit Grower Competition and is currently working for T&G Global.