The New Zealand Avocado Growers’ Association (NZAGA) has become the eighth signatory to the country’s Deed of the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) for Biosecurity Readiness and Response.
NZ Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular said the deed would enable the industry body to deliver the best possible outcomes to its members in the case of a disease outbreak or pest incursion.
“Signing the GIA Deed will give the avocado industry the opportunity to influence how we are impacted in the event of a biosecurity response, and influence readiness activity,” Scoular explained.
New Zealand minister for primary industries, Nathan Guy, and NZAGA chairman Ashby Whitehead, joined Scoular for the official signing in Tauranga on Thursday (25 February), along with representatives from the Ministry for Primary Industries and the GIA Secretariat.
There are over 1300 avocado growers in New Zealand, with the majority of production spread across the Bay of Plenty, the Mid North and Far North. The industry generated NZ$135m (US$90m) from sales to export markets and the New Zealand market over the 2014-15 season.
GIA secretariat manager, Steve Rich, said having the avocado industry as a signatory would further strengthen efforts to better deliver biosecurity outcomes.
“It’s pleasing to see more industry groups joining the growing partnership,” Rich explained. “GIA now has the critical mass to begin delivering improved biosecurity readiness and response activities.”
New Zealand Avocado joins fellow horticultural bodies Kiwifruit Vine Health and Pipfruit New Zealand as signatories to the deed.