TomatoesNZ updates industry strategy

At their October meeting, the TomatoesNZ board signed off an updated version of the “Strategy for the Fresh Tomato Industry” through to 2020. The original strategy was launched in 2014.

The strategy centres on “Planks and Foundations for Fresh Tomato Industry Growth”. Table 1 summarizes the updated planks and foundations.

The number of planks has been reduced from five to four, and the number of foundations has been reduced from four to three. The objectives associated with each plank and objective are outlined in Tables 2 & 3.

More detail has been added to the strategy document about the Foundations, with a new section explaining the objectives and rationale for each.

The industry vision remains: “To be economically and environmentally sustainable growers of healthy, safe and nutritious fresh tomatoes in a progressive industry that will attract investment.”

The planks
The planks have been set in order to achieve the strategy goal set in 2014: “The fresh tomato industry will double in value to $200m by October 2020.”

The “Market-Led Export”, “Share Best Practise and Information Transfer”, and “Enhance Sustainability” planks have been retained.

A new plank “Managing Risk” replaces “Collaboration to create scale” and “Orderly domestic market”, both of which have been removed from the strategy.

The “collaboration to create scale” plank was about a commercially coordinated approach to create scale to access export markets. It was closely aligned to the “Market-led export” plank.

Over the course of discussions with exporters, TomatoesNZ concluded that a commercial collaboration model (such as an exporting joint venture) was unlikely to occur, and pursuing this approach was outside of the scope of TomatoesNZ. However TomatoesNZ continues to undertake a considerable effort to support our fresh tomato exporters, including working with MPI to ensure continued export market access; a presence at the Asia Fruit Logistica expo in Hong Kong; and a project to develop sea freight for NZ fresh tomatoes. Feedback is that this work does make an important contribution to the efforts of our exporters.

The objective of the “Orderly Domestic Market” plank was to collect data on planting, production and wholesale volumes and prices or fresh tomatoes to enable growers to better understand market dynamics. Processes for collecting this data were investigated. However, concerns were raised that sharing this kind of data could be seen as anti-competitive behaviour under the Commerce Act, and therefore the initiative was not pursued further.

The new “Managing risk” plank captures a range of risks facing tomato growers, which could be reduced, mitigated, or managed either through actions of growers or TomatoesNZ. Examples include the emissions trading scheme, health & safety regulations, food labelling, & biosecurity.

The strategy Foundations, Table 3, form the building blocks or principles for all the activities which TomatoesNZ Inc. undertakes.

Biosecurity has been moved from “foundation”, to being a risk that needs managing, with associated initiatives. In particular TomatoesNZ will be engaging in biosecurity readiness in response activities through the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) partnership. The other three foundations have been retained from the previous version of the strategy, and cover sustainability, science and communication & advocacy.

Tomatoes New Zealand Inc. has a table of initiatives or specific projects that support achievement of the planks and foundations.

Both the updated strategy and the initiative table can be downloaded from The strategy page.

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