GIA biosecurity partnership welcomes the citrus industry

This week the GIA partnership welcomed NZ Citrus Growers Inc. (NZCGI) as its newest member. By signing the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) Deed for Biosecurity Readiness and Response, NZCGI becomes the ninth member of the growing GIA partnership.

The ceremony was attended by the Minister for Primary Industries – Hon Nathan Guy, NZCGI Chair – Richard Curtis, NZCGI Executive Manager – Nikki Johnson, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Director – General – Martyn Dunne, and the GIA Secretariat.

“We are pleased to join the GIA partnership which will ultimately help to deliver the best biosecurity outcomes for the New Zealand citrus industry,” says Mr Curtis.

“The citrus industry faces a number of serious biosecurity threats that could decimate our industry from the early discussions around GIA, NZCGI determined that GIA provided an opportunity to work more closely with government to understand the risks, undertake activities to prevent entry, and respond quickly and appropriately if required. Signing the GIA Deed will give the citrus industry a much stronger voice and working in partnership with MPI provides the best opportunity to manage our biosecurity risks, thereby maximising our industry potential”.

There are over 350 citrus growers in New Zealand. Approximately $60 million worth of citrus fruit is produced per annum (36,000 tonnes), and around $6 million is exported to overseas markets. In 2014, New Zealand exported around 812 tonnes of navel oranges, 925 tonnes of Satsuma mandarins, and 1,678 tonnes of lemons to markets around the world.

GIA Secretariat Manager, Steve Rich, welcomed NZCGI to the partnership saying GIA now has a diverse range of industry groups that is already beginning to deliver improved biosecurity readiness and response activities.

“The creation of the GIA partnership to deliver better biosecurity outcomes was a bold and innovative step for primary industries and the New Zealand Government,” says Mr Rich.

“NZCGI joins the growing number of industry groups prepared to take responsibility to manage biosecurity risks within their sector. The existing GIA partners acknowledge this commitment and welcome NZCGI to the GIA partnership.”

NZ Citrus Growers Inc joins New Zealand Avocado Growers Association, Kiwifruit Vine Health, Pipfruit New Zealand, New Zealand Pork, New Zealand Equine Health Association, Onions New Zealand and the New Zealand Forestry Owners Association, along with MPI representing the government as GIA partners.