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Green light for Horticulture NZ Concept

Fruit and vegetable growers have given unanimous support in principle to moves toward the formation of a new horticulture grower body at the Fruitgrowers Federation and Vegetable and Potato Growers Federation (Vegfed) conferences held this week in Auckland.

The proposal developed and presented by the boards is to establish a single horticulture grower body to deal with key industry wide issues such as biosecurity, education and training, compliance costs, trade and market access, labour issues and environmental issues - like resource management plans and water use and availability.

"The horticulture industry has sales of $4 billion including $2.2 billion of exports to markets all around the world, grows 130,000 hectares of crops and is a very significant contributor to regional development and employment. We are known internationally as a innovative supplier of quality products but there are many issues that we need to address if growers we are to remain competitive and the industry is to continue to grow," said Peter Silcock Chief Executive of Fruitgrowers Federation and Vegfed.

"Growers have supported the proposal in principle because they have recognised the need for an empowered and influential organisation that will combine and build on the activities for Fruitgrowers Federation and Vegfed. It is now up to us to further develop the detail.

Conference delegates emphasised to us the importance of further consultation with and the involvement of growers and other industry bodies especially the product specific fruit and vegetables groups in the development of the proposal. That is excellent feedback as we have always recognised that the support of the industry as a whole, not just conference delegates, is going to be vital for the success of the new organisation"

"A group will be established in the next month or so to further consult and develop the detail of the concept so a full proposal can be presented to next year's conferences, said Mr Silcock. While that is some time away there is a lot of consultation and work required to ensure we can move forward with a strong organisation that has the grower support that we need to make it successful in the future.

USDA Review of International Dairy Market Conditions.

OCEANIA OVERVIEW: The current situation is quiet as the new milk production season begins. Low inventory levels from last season and the current light plant milk intakes and manufacturing schedules are factors at the current time. Most producers are active with freshened cows and handling calves in New Zealand. About 20% of cows have freshened to start the new season. Current weather conditions are good for pastures though some areas, mainly on the South Island remain on the dry side. The current pre-season forecast for the New Zealand milk production season is up around 2%. In Australia, current weather conditions are cold, windy, and wet. Water levels are still low and depleted levels still need to be rebuilt. Irrigation water supplies remain an issue with many holders of water right are currently not expected to receive their full allocation unless the rain continues. The new milk production season is just underway with current expectations for milk receipts to range from nearly unchanged to 3% above last year's drought reduced levels. Current manufacturing schedules are still light with the product mix geared towards items in the tightest supply.

OVERVIEW: WESTERN EUROPE: Milk production continues to decline in Europe with intakes, depending on country, lower than early season expectations due to drought. Instability in currency values, with the U.S. dollar both higher and lower compared to the Euro and other currencies in recent weeks affects some price ranges. New information is limited with many traders on summer holiday. Strong interest is noted for AMF/butteroil from predominately Moslem countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Buyers are building supplies for the upcoming Ramadan holiday, expected in October. Many butteroil producers/traders are fully committed and are not accepting any new inquiries. Also, exporters are working on filling contracts, mainly for whole milk, that had been suspended earlier in the year by the military activity in Iraq. The switch to drying more whole milk is also affecting skim milk production.

EASTERN EUROPE: Milk production has declined in most countries, at least seasonally. Limited volume exports continue from the region. The carryover affect from last year's reduced milk production in some countries is contributing to supply concerns for the approaching fall and winter production period.


(Australia and New Zealand)- Compared to Friday, trading steady to firm, with higher asking levels for out front deliveries. Demand moderate on light to moderate offerings. Offerings from Australia and New Zealand continued to be light with slaughter levels seasonally light.

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