4 Jul 2012

Tomato growers pleased at ETS deferral

3:06 pm on 4 July 2012

Tomato growers are pleased by the Government's decision to not make any major changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme for at least three years.

Industries in the ETS - forestry, energy and transport - were to start paying the full cost of their emissions at the end of this year but will now continue to pay half.

Tomatoes New Zealand represents the 200 growers who produce standard and specialty tomatoes worth $90 million a year.

Chairman Wim Zwart says growers have already been hit hard by the ETS because of the energy they use to heat greenhouses.

He says the Government's decision to defer the changes will help the industry remain competitive in the commercial market.

"Australian tomato growers do not pay an ETS just yet and the Canadian government has refunded the money to their tomato growers, so it will help us to compete with those growers better."

He said the ETS has been an uncertain cost factor and remains so but at least the extra costs that were coming on stream over the next few years will be deferred.