14 Dec 2010

Greenhouse growers to get free ETS credits

1:55 pm on 14 December 2010

Growers who produce crops under cover have won some light relief under the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

The Government has approved their application for free carbon credits after it widened the scheme earlier this year to make it fairer for small and medium-sized businesses.

Horticulture New Zealand's business manager, Chris Ward, says all growers who produce fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicum and cut roses in heated greenhouses are eligible for the taxpayer-funded subsidies under the ETS.

He says the sector has been deemed trade-exposed and of medium intensive energy use.

Mr Ward says the carbon credits will be allocated on the level of production. For example, 100 tonnes of tomatoes produced, will get 73 carbon units.

This would amount to about of $1.2 million a year between 300 growers of tomatoes, cucumbers and capsicums, or 1.5 cents a kilogram of tomatoes.