I’d like to start by acknowledging how our industry has come through the past year, stronger and more united than ever. The COVID-19 crisis has given us a voice and the opportunity to demonstrate the important role that our industry plays in New Zealand.
During the Covd-19 shutdowns this year we faced massive uncertainty as our workers were ordered to stay at home and our customers in the forestry, horticulture & viticulture industries faced massive uncertainty, threatening to cancel orders for seedlings.
Thankfully at the end of the year the demand for plants has continued to be strong and it looks like our industry is trading around 10-15% ahead.
The unpredictable weather has presented its challenges as well, with floods and droughts featuring in the North and Eastern regions.
As expected, we faced a steady increase in biosecurity responses, including Ambrosia Beetle, Tomato Red Spider Mite, Monstera Rust, Colletotrichum (a new anthracnose) and the recent response to Tomato Rugose Fruit Virus.
We have advocated for a better plant imports system and we are pleased to report that we continue to make steady progress in this area.
Our industry needs to tell our story to the New Zealand public and policy makers so they understand the important role that plant producers play in the success of New Zealand.
Rather than promoting plants as good to look at, we need to emphasise their functional benefits for ecosystems, wellbeing, and healthy food in both the urban and rural environment.
We’ll be building on the work we have done to promote our members as capable, innovative and responsible. Joining the GIA and launching the new biosecurity scheme (PPBS) will help us to build trust that we can manage risks and deal with crisis.
Through our Nursery Capability Project, published in August, we gained important data on the demand and supply of native plants. This was the first large scale survey of our industry and we have more of these surveys planned to gain insights into our industry.
There has been a raft of new regulations, particularly aimed at employment practice and the environment. NZPPI will continue to advocate strongly for our members to ensure that these regulations are appropriate and workable.
We’ll continue to build tools and solutions to help our members deal with the new rules. Over the past few months we have been working with the Government to develop major projects in science, workforce, and industry data, to transform our industry. We hope to announce this in the new year, so watch out for this.
This is just a snapshot of where we’re at. Our industry is changing fast and we are working to ensure that our members are able to adapt to the challenges and opportunities ahead.
We believe that our industry is well positioned and NZPPI has a key role to play in supporting plant producers through this time of change.
If you want to find out more about NZPPI’s work, and our priorities for the coming year please have a look around this new website.
Have a safe and happy festive season.
Merry Christmas from NZPPI team, Matt, Kathryn, Alix, Martin, Alice and Sue.
Reminder - Go Gardening Gift cards and Vouchers
The Go Gardening Gift Card and Voucher system will be wound up, with the sale of cards and vouchers ceasing on 31 January 2021.
NZPPI will redeem valid gift cards and vouchers from this point on. A policy about the redemption for these has been posted on the NZPPI website here.
A new gift card – ‘give a garden’ - is to be launched early 2021. To sign up to this new service contact Debbie Pascoe from Garden Promotions Ltd at firstname.lastname@example.org