15 Apr 2016

Could costly seed restrictions lead to a vegetable shortage?

From Nine To Noon, 9:08 am on 15 April 2016

New Zealand seed merchants and growers say blanket restrictions on certain types of seed imports could cost the industry hundreds of thousands of dollars and may even lead to a vegetable shortage. All pelleted seed imports of flowers and vegetables are being subjected to laboratory testing after the discovery of velvetleaf in fodder beet seeds imported from Europe.

But it is feared there isn't enough capacity for massive scale testing, which could result in lengthy hold ups at the border as well as spiralling costs.

Vince Wylaars is the Managing Director of Zealandia Horticulture a major grower of vegetables and flowers.John McCullough is the General Manager and owner of New Zealand's biggest seed importer, Egmont Seeds.