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Minister Nathan Guy declares medium scale adverse event - assistance now available

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has declared a medium-scale adverse event for the primary sector in storm-hit  Northland.  Minister Nathan Guy visited Northland this morning and met with NZAGA Rep's Sue Culham and John Cotterell. After seeing the damage on avocado orchards first hand, he declared a "Medium-scale adverse event".  This means that assistance will be available to growers on the ground to clear orchards. This is great news for those affected and we urge you to please take up this offer of assistance.  "The first stage of this is to provide funding for Northland Rural Support Trust (NRST) to deliver help, support, and management advice to farmers and growers. The Trust have been working closely with MPI and local authorities to determine what's required in the clean-up phase after severe flooding and wind damage. "The storm has impacted around 80% of the primary sector in Northland with very high winds and heavy rainfall over a solid four day period. I’ve seen for myself the damage today at an avocado orchard severely damaged by wind and dairy farms near Whangarei under water.  "The local community has done a great [job] of pulling together and helping each other out. Farmers and growers are resilient and will get through this," says Mr Guy.  Rural Support Trust is the main body that will receive the assistance funding and will co-ordinate the clean-up required. What we need from growers is for you to register your orchard through the Rural Support Trust for this help. Please call 0800 787 254 – you need to register as soon as possible. If you already emailed Sue Culham after last week's call for storm damage information, you will still need to register with RST so they can take into account your specific needs.  All growers requiring help to clear fallen fruit, trees, branches etc please ring RST to register. You will need to give them details of what is required for your clean-up, such as:  situation of orchard, number of trees down to be cleared, if fruit on ground is to be cleared? 

New Zealand Avocados Achieve Record Sales for 2013-14 Season

New Zealand’s avocado industry today announced it has more than doubled its sales from last season to $136m, setting new records in both export and New Zealand markets. This stunning return eclipses the previous sales record of $84.1m set in 2009-10 and is far in excess of the $60.4m worth of avocados sold last year. Jen Scoular, Chief Executive of NZ Avocado, says this season’s success is due to a number of reasons including initiatives which are transforming the industry into a more cohesive and competitive sector. The Australian and New Zealand markets have performed very well, and discipline by the market players to match supply and demand has played a big part in that.  "Our focus over the last 12 months has been to promote far more collaboration across the avocado industry – with growers, packers, New Zealand marketers, exporters and those supporting our industry.  This has allowed us to start addressing and resolving issues that have previously held us back,” Scoular says. The season has seen the successful amalgamation of our two largest exporters into one exporting group to Australia our largest market, and the continued collaboration of three exporters under one brand into Asia. In April this year the Avocado Industry Council secured a Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme with the Ministry for Primary Industries to significantly increase productivity and capability, to increase sales to $280m by 2023. The five year programme, New Zealand Avocados Go Global, will leverage the growing demand in New Zealand and in Asia for premium, safe, and healthy produce.  "There’s a world-wide trend towards eating fresh, healthy food and the nutritional benefits of eating avocados are now widely recognised and understood by consumers. This presents us with a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on this season’s sales growth going forward,” she says. Scoular says irregular bearing remains a major challenge to being able to guarantee a consistent supply of avocados from year-to-year. This is being addressed with research being undertaken collaboratively between NZ Avocado, Plant & Food Research, industry experts and growers. This season’s $135.9m return comprises 4.9m 5.5kg trays of avocados. $102.9m worth were exported, while $33m worth were sold in New Zealand. Last year a total of 2.6 million trays were produced, totalling $31.7m worth of exports, and $28.7m of local sales. Scoular says this season’s record results also reflect the increased promotional and market development activities to raise visibilities for the amazing attributes of avocados, and to drive consumption. "Nadia Lim, the New Zealand Avocado’s ambassador, has been a great asset in raising the profile of avocados both here at home and overseas.” Ashby Whitehead, Chair of New Zealand Avocado Growers Association and AIC Ltd says continued collaboration across all sectors of the New Zealand avocado industry, plus discussions and partnerships with Government, scientists and experts from other horticultural fields will help push industry growth going forward. "The industry has never been in a better position.  We are identifying opportunities, prioritising markets and addressing obstacles on a path to becoming a high value, sustainable horticulture industry delivering real returns to New Zealand,” says Whitehead. Normal 0 false false false EN-NZ X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language:EN-US; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}

New Zealand Avocados set to Go Global with New Government Partnership

The Avocado Industry Council announced today it will partner with the Ministry for Primary Industries in a new Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme called Go Global— a five year programme to increase the productivity and capability within the avocado industry to deliver significant additional returns for New Zealand. Jen Scoular, Chief Executive Officer of Avocado Industry Council, says it is a landmark development for the avocado industry that will increase sales to more than a quarter of a billion dollars by 2023. "This PGP programme will create significant value across the industry, helping position New Zealand’s avocado industry to capitalise on the growing demand domestically and in Asia, for premium, safe, and healthy produce. Part of this will involve developing a New Zealand avocado story to highlight the health and versatility of our avocados,” says Scoular. The Go Global programme’s vision is to equip the industry with the tools to triple productivity to 12 tonnes per hectare and quadruple industry returns to $280 million by 2023. New Zealand aims to become the avocado supplier of choice in Asian markets, by gaining an early foothold, and a "first mover” advantage in those markets. "A consistent supply of premium avocados and a unified marketing strategy which creates a point of difference for New Zealand avocados will drive this growth,” she says. The programme will address the industry’s biggest challenge of low and irregular bearing. Collaborative research, with strong cross industry participation will deliver best practice across the value chain which is transferred through a network of innovation leaders, rural professionals and growers. The programme aims to achieve widespread adoption of best practice driven by examples of success. Ashby Whitehead, Chair of Avocado Industry Council says the New Zealand avocado industry will be transformed to an efficient, well-informed, and highly capable industry, supplying premium health food to a number of high-value markets domestically and internationally.  "The programme includes co-investment from growers, packers, processors and exporters, it is a real cross-industry collaboration,” says Whitehead. The programme will have a strong focus on knowledge sharing across the avocado industry, which will also be able to be utilised by the recently successful "Avocados for Export” programme, funded by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, and led by Plant & Food Research. Strengthening information flow, performance and efficiency will be achieved through the development of an information portal, increasing supply chain efficiency and benchmarking performance. Justine Gilliland, Director PGP, MPI, says a total investment of $8.56 million has been secured for the programme, with MPI committing $4.28 million over five years, and the balance coming from industry partners as a mixture of cash and in-kind contributions. "We’re excited by this new programme. It’s the first horticulture programme involving fresh fruit in the PGP, showing the diversity of the industries involved in the PGP,” says Gilliland. "We are thrilled to be part of the PGP—the industry is motivated and ready to capitalise on the real opportunities that exist for our industry. This PGP programme will see the emergence of a globally competitive, high value, sustainable horticulture industry delivering real returns to New Zealand,” says Scoular. MPI and Avocado Industry Council will now negotiate and agree a contract so Go Global can formally commence. About NZ Avocado Growers’ Association Inc. & Avocado Industry Council Limited The New Zealand avocado industry is the third largest fresh fruit export from New Zealand. The 2014-15 season will see the industry produce a near record of five million trays.NZ Avocado Growers' Association Inc. (NZAGA) and Avocado Industry Council Ltd (AIC) work with the New Zealand industry to set export standards, facilitate market access, promote New Zealand avocados and provide technical information to all New Zealand growers of which there are over 1600 based mainly in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. For more information visit www.nzavocado.co.nz/industry About the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) The PGP aims to boost the productivity and profitability of our primary sector through investment between government and industry. It provides an essential springboard to enable New Zealand to stay at the forefront of primary sector innovation. MPI and industry have now collectively committed around $708 million in 18 announced (15 contracted and three pending). PGP programmes are generally long-run programmes of five to seven years’ duration and are subject to oversight and monitoring by an independent panel (the Investment Advisory Panel) and MPI. Monitoring requirements include programme steering groups, quarterly progress reporting, annual plans, audits, and progress reviews, along with evaluation of the overall programme. Funding is only released to programmes on receipt of invoices for work completed in accordance with programme plans. MPI is now seeking applications for new Primary Growth Partnership programmes. The closing date for proposals is 12pm on Wednesday 25 June. See the PGP webpage on MPI’s website for further information and guidance www.mpi.govt.nz **ENDS** For further comment, contact: Jen Scoular  CEO, Avocado Industry Council  jen.scoular@nzavocado.co.nz 021 741 014 Brad Young Senior Communications Advisor, MPI media@mpi.govt.nz 029 894 0328 (MPI media phone) For media assistance, contact: Midge Munro Communications Manager, Avocado Industry Council midge.munro@nzavocado.co.nz  64 7 571 6147  64 21 275 3331 Bridgette Paton-Tapsell Village Public Relations | Marketing b@villagenz.com  64 7 572 1608 64 27 553 3929 

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