Invaluable feedback and insights

28 March 2024

The HortNZ team has just completed regional meetings with growers as part of the national commodity levy roadshow.

There has been some really valuable feedback and insights and the meetings have given us a good understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing growers across the country.

We acknowledge the time of the year has not been ideal given harvest timeframes in some regions so if you weren’t able to make it to a meeting, please register here for one of two HortNZ webinars next month.

Over the next few weeks, we will be considering all feedback as we develop the levy proposal to enable growers to vote in the HortNZ levy referendum over May-June.

Remember, without grower support in this referendum, HortNZ will close, so it's crucial that you have your say.


Other news, the New Zealand Parliament has just ratified the New Zealand-European Union Free Trade Agreement.

The FTA will deliver a major boost to the horticulture sector when it comes into force later this year with onion and kiwifruit growers in particular benefiting from tariff savings. Based on last year’s export figures, around $60 million in tariffs per year will be slashed from day one, including nearly $52 million on kiwifruit alone.

The FTA will level the playing field by ensuring New Zealand’s horticulture exports are more competitive on the shelf, which is great news for our growers and regional communities across the country.

The agreement will also strengthen the sector’s resilience and build prosperity at a time of significant supply chain volatility.

New Zealand kiwifruit and onion exporters have been facing EU tariffs of between 8.8 and 9.6 per cent. Other New Zealand fresh, frozen and processed horticulture products face even higher EU tariffs – in some cases, up to 33 per cent.

The horticulture sector will be looking for further progress on the removal of the EU’s agricultural subsidies in the future.

Happy Easter

Although I know it’s a busy time for many growers with the likes of the apple harvest underway, I want to wish everyone all the best for Easter. I hope you get an opportunity to relax with family and friends.