Investing your levies: key activity outcomes

Research

Summerfruit NZ consistently captures grants to underpin our key research.

  • Since 2014 $1.1 million in grants secured for summerfruit research programmes.
  • Funding has been received from the Sustainable Farming Fund, AgMardt, Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust, Heinz Wattie's, Summerfruit Exporters Committee.
  • 18 projects underway and/or completed since 2014.
  • Four projects with a duration of five years or more.

 We currently have the following research projects underway:

  • Evaluation of new varieties from the joint breeding programme.
  • Future orchard planting systems.
  • Three year pathogen resistance focusing on bacteria, brown rot and botrytis, and including benchmarking.
  • Pollination review – apricots and cherries.
  • Development of resistance management guidelines.
  • Development of nursery tree handling protocols and guidelines for growers.

Other research includes:

  • PGP application for Sensational Summerfruit programme total value $16 million over seven years.

Research extension and tech transfer:

  • SummerGreen meetings in Hawkes Bay and Central Otago.
  • R&D days and on-going tech transfer.
  • International presenters.
  • Research & development presentations at annual conference.

We continue to build strong partnerships with the Sustainable Farming Fund, Plant &Food Research, and Heinz Wattie's.

Crop protection

  • Annual production of the PHIs and MRLs for both export and NZ markets.
  • Annual PHI wall charts for export apricots and cherries.
  • Registration of new agrichemicals.
  • Summerfruit NZ is a partner organisation in the Future Crop Protection PGP coordinated by HortNZ.

NZ market

  • Brown rot action plan developed.
  • Fungicide resistance testing regime established.
  • Weekly seasonal update delivered electronically.
  • Upgraded grower and packhouse communications.
  • Consumer behavioural research (Nielsen); 2016 & 2017.
  • AgMardt harvest tools project (Three years completed).
  • Wrist bands developed and implemented for pickers.
  • Cool chain research.
  • Maturity guides updated.
  • Growing degree days online.

Apricot programme 

Apricot Co

  • Interim Board appointed 2018.
  • Observer on New Varieties Evaluation panel.
  • Initial financial modelling.
  • Constitution drafted.

New varieties

  • The first three varieties released from the Summerfruit NZ/Plant & Food Research breeding programme.
    • Nzsummer2.
    • Nzsummer3.
    • Nzsummer4.
  • First budwood ordering and supply season.
  • Tasting and field walk of Nzsummer series apricots in Hawkes Bay.
  • Submission on Plant Variety Rights.

Export

New markets

  • Opening new markets, eg application for our apricots to China.

Maintaining access

Fighting to maintain or regain access for a market where the import or phytosanitary conditions have changed, affecting our ability to export there. For example:

  • EU & Switzerland compliance programme removed.
  • The ongoing battle to retain OPI.

Improving existing markets

  • Reduction of the frequency of audits by the Japan inspector.
  • Change of the phytosanitary inspection requirement by Korea from 2% to the standard 600 inspection.
  • OPI remote diagnostics for pest identifications for pre-clearance in Central Otago.

In addition, the commercialisation of ethyl formate (Vapormate) as a postharvest disinfestation technique for apricots to Australia. Four packhouses used the system in 2018-19 season.

Biosecurity 

Governance

  • Industry consultation and mandate gained to become a partner under GIA.
  • GIA Deed signed 2017.
  • Fruit Fly Council member since 2017.
  • Governance Group member since 2017.
  • Biosecurity levy consultation and industry referendum completed 2018.
  • Part of BMSB council application to EPA for release of Samurai Wasp.
  • Biosecurity levy to be confirmed August 2019.
  • Summerfruit industry biosecurity strategy completed 2019.
  • Expenditure on biosecurity grew from $1,754.58 in 2014 to $30,692 in 2017.

Operational agreements

  • Fruit Fly Operational Agreement signed 2017.
  • Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Operational Agreement signed 2018.
  • Xylella Fastidiosa – in development.
  • Drosophila Suzukii – in development.

Readiness activities

  • Pest and disease most wanted poster – printed and online.
  • Pest and disease fact sheets – 13 online.
  • Orchard biosecurity manual – in development.
  • Biosecurity micro credential – partner in development with Primary ITO and other horticulture associations.

Response activities

  • Fruit fly response governance meetings.
  • Two staff members provided for in-field response activities (one week each) – March 2019 incursion.

Updated Import Health Standard for Prunus.

Communications 

  • Summerfruit NZ annual conference.
    • International speakers with attendance of 252 in 2019.
    • A year on year increase in industry participation.
    • Strong sponsorship and industry support.
  • SummerGreen interactive manual online.
  • Revamped website www.summerfruitnz.co.nz.
  • New secure grower portal:
    • online export registration
    • online levy payment
    • growing degree days
    • purchases.
  • Metservice weather tools.
  • Summerfruit magazine; distribution 500 per issue three times per year.
  • Prunings distribution 540 each week throughout the season and as required during the rest of the year.

 Other activities

  • Moved into an independent and larger office space.
  • Increased roles by three (from previous of one full time and three part time):
    • Business support (new, part time)
    • Biosecurity & export manager (new, full time)
    • Business manager (new, full time).

 Future issues

  • Carbon zero and climate change.
  • Labour:
    • seasonal and permanent
    • lobbying
    • education and training.
  • Access to water.
  • Right to farm.
  • Large external investment in cherry orchards.