Onion industry joins GIA biosecurity agreement

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed a fifth primary industry to the GIA partnership today.

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

“This means the onion industry and the Ministry for Primary Industries can work together to manage and respond to the most important biosecurity risks,” says Mr Guy.

“The onion industry export value is worth around $100 million and is our third equal largest fresh horticulture export crop. New Zealand onions have a strong international reputation, with 85% of domestic production exported to 24 markets around the world.

“This is a big week for the onion and wider horticulture industry with the TPP offering immediate tariff savings of $20 million once in force, and major opportunities for growth into big markets like Japan and Vietnam.

“It’s pleasing to see a growing number of industries signing up to work together with the Government through the GIA.

“Biosecurity is my number one priority as Minister and this is backed up with a new passenger levy being introduced, meaning increasing passenger numbers will fund services at the border.

“In Budget 2015 an extra $27 million investment was made into the biosecurity system to fund more detector dogs, x-ray machines and inspectors.

“Biosecurity is a shared responsibility and we need the input of industry and the public to make the system as effective as possible.”

Other signatories to the GIA Deed are New Zealand Pork, Kiwifruit Vine Health, Pipfruit New Zealand, the New Zealand Equine Health Association and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

More information on the GIA is available here: http://www.gia.org.nz/