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Get your votes in for GIA before 31 March

Thank you to those who have already returned their voting papers to us. I did a call around this week, and am hearing there are still a number who are yet to vote Ė so this just a reminder that your vote does count. We look forward to receiving lots over the next few days. I did also call a few growers to make sure we had provided enough information on GIA. We didnít have a huge turn out at the roadshows, but they provided a good opportunity to hear growers concerns, positive and negative. As we set out in the information papers provided, we believe that signing the GIA and implementing a Biosecurity Levy for responses is our best option. We do not have the opportunity to challenge GIA, it is already legislation, industries have already signed the Deed.  We do have the opportunity though to influence how our industry is impacted in the event of a biosecurity response, and influence the readiness activity to better ensure incursions donít happen or are discovered very quickly and contained. I am an active participant of the Interim Fruit Fly Council, a group of horticulture industries and MPI, jointly developing an Operational Agreement for fruit fly. We as the avocado industry are able to influence the detail of the Operational Agreement, making sure it works for our industry. We accept there are those opposed to GIA and welcome views on either side. Click here to view a letter we received from Ewan Price, a Whangarei grower, with his view set out, and our responses to that. This letter and other information on GIA is on the Industry website: www.nzavocado.co.nz/indusry > Risk Mngt > Government Industry Agreements In summary, our key messages on GIA are set out below: The NZAGA Executive & AIC Ltd Board have a duty of care to ensure the necessary levels of protection are in place and mitigate industry risk while minimising industry costs. Having looked at all options the NZAGA Executive & AIC Ltd Board unanimously recommended that signing the GIA Deed was in the best interests of the industry. Although this has been imposed on industry, the simple fact is that signing the GIA deed is the only way to limit the long term financial liability of industry. Yes, we will sign up to share in readiness and response costs, but we also sign up to participate in decisions that will impact our industry. MPI have undertaken to develop the Deed based on legislation and if the industry does not enter into a GIA partnership, we donít get to decide what happens during a response and growers will still get sent a bill for costs. It is not the industryís role now to challenge the principles of the Deed but work under the framework set by the Crown to develop Operational Agreements that work to protect the industry and minimise costs. Either way we pay. Response costs are shared by signatories to an Operational Agreement. But we can limit the amount we pay via setting a fiscal cap for each Operational Agreement. If an industry has decided not to sign the GIA, the growers in that industry may get sent a bill for their share of any costs. There is no limit set on the level of the bill those growers may be sent, and be obliged to pay. It should be noted that industries signed up to GIA will almost certainly insist Ministry for Primary Industries recover applicable costs from the non-signatory industries. We want to ensure you have enough information to make an informed decision. Brad Siebert, our Biosecurity Manager and I are available most times of the day or evening if you want to call.We look forward to receiving your vote. Regards, Jen Scoular 021 741 014 Brad Siebert 021 804 847 

Fruit Fly Response February 2015 - Update

MPI has confirmed another male fruit fly has been found in a pheromone trap within the Grey Lynn Controlled Area, bringing the total number detected to five. Although small numbers of flies may continue be captured over the coming weeks, MPI is confident that this remains a small isolated population that will be successfully eradicated. NZ Avocado and all other potentially affected industry groups continue to be involved in daily conference calls with MPI where industries have the opportunity to stay updated and provide feedback. GIA signatories, Pipfruit NZ and KVH, are providing additional direction to response efforts as part of the Response Strategic Leadership team. NZ Avocado has also been ensuring that all avocado exporters and New Zealand marketers who may need to transit through the Auckland Controlled Area are aware of the movement controls. Significant ground operations are continuing. A detailed operations update is on the MPI website (click here to view) and highlights are below: Field teams are also applying insecticide bait throughout the Controlled Area, informing residents about the controls and inspecting gardens and rubbish bins. Insecticide bait is being applied to fruiting trees and plants throughout the Controlled Area. This bait contains a protein that attracts both male and female fruit flies and a small amount of fipronil insecticide, which is an insecticide used most commonly in pet flea collars. About 5-6 spots of the bait are applied per property (with the fruit fly host trees only). Approximately 126 field staff are out today (from MPI, operations provider AsureQuality and partners, including Auckland Council and horticulture industry). Approximately 80 people are working on the operation in MPIís Wellington Head office. A Controlled Area was established on Wednesday 18 February with the issuing of a Controlled Area Notice. This restricts the movement of fruit and some vegetables out of the specified area.∑ In total there are 544 disposal bins deployed throughout the Controlled Area. These bins are cleared regularly. Approximately 1300 kilos of produce waste is collected from these bins daily and safely disposed of. Since the discovery of the first fruit fly, MPI has placed 307 traps to lure any male fruit flies present in Zone A. There are 193 traps in Zone B. Traps in Zone A are checked daily and those in Zone B are checked every 3 days. As above, there have been no further positive finds over and above those already publicly notified. MPI is running a field laboratory identifying any insects trapped and also cutting and testing fruit and vegetables collected from properties in the Controlled Area. Yesterday MPI scientists sliced and inspected 36.56 kilograms of fruit. To date there have been no restrictions applied to horticultural exports from New Zealand. We are receiving questions from some importing countries, but their responses to date have been measured. No commercial avocado orchards have been identified within the Auckland Metropolitan area however NZ Avocado welcomes any details of avocado production sites within 25 km of Grey Lynn. Contact Jen or Brad with any information or questions - 0800 286 2236. Full details of the Auckland Fruit fly response are maintained on the MPI website http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests/queensland-fruit-fly 

Fruit Fly Response February 2015

MPI has confirmed the discovery of an isolated population of Queensland fruit fly in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn. Adult fruit flies have now been found within traps and on a lemon tree, along with larvae infested fruit, on a property near the original detection. MPI and GIA partners are now deploying significant resources to respond to this localised incursion and are confident that planned treatments will successfully eradicate this population. Treatments are likely to include targeted ground-based spraying of areas under fruiting trees and additional baits and traps will also be used to attract and kill female fruit flies. For members of the public, the existing controls on fruit and vegetable movements remain largely the same for the 1.5km Controlled Area. An additional export restriction zone now extends for 3.5km from the location of the last detection. Produce susceptible to fruit fly cannot be exported from within this zone. There is no commercial avocado production in this zone. Key trading partners have been made aware overnight of the most recent developments through direct communication with MPI staff. The avocado Industry is reminded that in these situations importing countries can change their import requirements without notice so it is vital that any updates to the Media are accurate and in line with MPIís official notifications. NZ Avocado requests that no grower or industry representative discusses the response with media. Please direct all media enquiries to Jen Scoular, CEO NZ Avocado. jen.scoular@nzavocado.co.nz or 021 741 014. Further information about the Queensland fruit fly, the exclusion zones and MPIís media releases are on the MPI website at: http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests/queensland-fruit-fly

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Upcoming Events

8th World Avocado Congress

10:00 AM, 13 September 2015

The 8th World Avocado congress will be held in Lima,  Perķ from the 13th to 18th of September 2015. The Scientific committee invites you to participate in this event and prepare your research works and submit your abstracts at your convenience. http://www.wacperu2015.com/  If you need more details please do not hesitate to contact the Scientific committee comitecientifico@wacperu2015.com 

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