26 Jul 2012

Hort NZ says compliance costs crippling industry

7:10 am on 26 July 2012

The president of Horticulture New Zealand says the compliance and operating costs facing growers are starting to cripple many of them.

Andrew Fenton told the organisation's annual conference in Auckland this week that costs have sky-rocketed in the past 12 months for the country's 6000 growers.

He says he estimates costs have increased by more than 50%, judging from the profitability of most of the organisation's 22 product groups within the fruit, vegetable and berryfruit sectors.

Mr Fenton says wholesale values of produce over that period have not changed.

He says many growers feel that they are running on a treadmill but getting nowhere.

Mr Fenton says members of the Horticulture New Zealand board, all of whom are growers, understand the tough economic conditions that growers are facing and they have also struggled with the kiwifruit vine disease PSA, pest incursions, the exchange rate, resource management battles and supply chain and pricing issues.