“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 largest fresh horticulture export crop (equal with avocados) with an average Free on Board (FoB) value of $80–100m.”
Approximately 215,000 metric tonnes of onions are produced annually from 5000 hectares cropped 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 pest’s risks impacting our sector,” says Ahern.
The signing was the second by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, and was further witnessed by MP for Hunua, Andrew Bayly. Held at the Campbell Tyson Business Centre, the signing was also attended by representatives from Onions New Zealand, MPI, and the GIA Secretariat.
MP for Hunua, Andrew Bayly, explained the GIA signing was incredibly significant for Franklin. “The signing of the deed has been delayed several times, as we felt that it was extremely poignant to have it signed in Pukekohe. This is due to the reflection on onion industry within Franklin, and recognition on how much the area contributes to the export market.” Onions New Zealand joins organisations representing the kiwifruit, pipfruit, equine, and pork sectors, along with MPI representing the government as GIA partners.