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Onion industry joins GIA biosecurity partnership

On Friday 9 October, Onions New Zealand Inc signed the Deed of the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) for Biosecurity Readiness and Response at Pukekohe, becoming the first vegetable group and the sixth Signatory to sign the Deed.

From left to right: Hon Nathan Guy, Onions NZ CEO - Michael Ahern, MP for Hunua - Andrew Bayly.
Photo courtesy of Nigel Marple Photography

On Friday 9 October, Onions New Zealand Inc signed the Deed of the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) for Biosecurity Readiness and Response at Pukekohe, becoming the first vegetable group and the sixth Signatory to sign the Deed.

The signing ceremony was attended by the Minister for Primary Industries Hon Nathan Guy, local MP for Hunua Andrew Bayly, and a number of local growers and representatives from Onions New Zealand and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

’We are pleased to join the GIA partnership to help deliver the best biosecurity outcomes so that we can protect our sector,” says Michael Ahern, Chief Executive Officer of Onions New Zealand, the industry body representing onion growers in New Zealand.

“The onion industry is an important primary industry exporter with 85% of New Zealand onions shipped and sold in global markets. Onions are New Zealand’s third (equal with Avocados) largest fresh horticulture export crop with an average Free on Board (FoB) value of $80–100M.”  

Approximately 215,000 metric tonnes are produced from 5,000 hectares in the regions of Franklin/Pukekohe (52%), Waikato/Bay of Plenty (13%), Hawke’s Bay (15%), Canterbury/South Canterbury (14%) and Manawatu/Horowhenua (6%).

“This partnership will see us working closely with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to make joint decisions on readiness and response to manage priority biosecurity pests risks impacting our sector,” says Ahern.

GIA Secretariat Manager, Steve Rich, welcomed Onions New Zealand to the partnership saying biosecurity is a shared responsibility.

“Unwanted organisms are some of the biggest potential threats facing our primary industries. As New Zealand trade and tourism continues to grow, the GIA partnership will have a critical role to play in helping to manage New Zealand’s biosecurity system.”

“The growing number of Signatories is a positive signal that New Zealand’s primary industries are beginning to see the value of working together in partnership – this can only lead to better overall biosecurity outcomes.”

Onions New Zealand joins organisations representing the kiwifruit, pipfruit, equine, and pork sectors, along with MPI representing the government as GIA partners.

For more information visit www.onionsnz.com or www.gia.org.nz

For further information contact:

Ana Zandi   Michael Ahern
Communications Advisor  Chief Executive Officer
GIA Secretariat  Onions New Zealand
Ph: (04) 894 0321  Ph: (021) 753 153
ana.zandi@mpi.govt.nz  michael.ahern@onionsnz.com

Additional images

  • Onion industry joins GIA biosecurity partnership
  • Onion industry joins GIA biosecurity partnership
  • Onion industry joins GIA biosecurity partnership
  • Onion industry joins GIA biosecurity partnership
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