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Vegetables New Zealand Incorporated represents the interests of growers of all fresh vegetable crops (other than potatoes, onions, tomatoes, asparagus, and buttercup squash).

It represents approximately 760 growers who produce over 50 crops with a farm gate value of over $400 million per annum. It is the largest of the vegetable product groups, and with such a wide range of crops, it has the task of ensuring that the interests of all its member growers are represented.

IMPORTANT NOTICE - As you may be aware there was a media article stating that a needle has been found in a capsicum by a customer of Countdown in Tauranga.  (Please refer to the article below).


NZ Police and MPI are investigating the claim.

PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THE MEDIA instead refer them in the first instance to:

Josie Vidal – Communications Manager (Horticulture NZ) 027 542 7475 or

John Seymour – General Manager (Vegetables NZ Inc) 0275 437 531

HortNZ and Vegetables NZ Inc will manage any media at present.  We do not as yet know the facts but we have systems in place (NZ GAP) to ensure that our food is safe, so please do not be drawn into deeper discussions around food safety.  We will keep the media updated.

Our goal is to minimise media attention to stop copycat repetition.

Needle found in Tauranga Countdown capsicum

The needle contamination scare continues with yet another piece of fresh produce found pierced with metal - this time, a hapless capsicum.

Tauranga man Will Taylor cooked his girlfriend a stir fry on Sunday, using a red capsicum he'd bought from Countdown Bureta Park the day before.

He told Stuff that when his partner bit into the vegetable, she felt something sharp scratch her tongue.

Upon closer inspection, the couple discovered a needle about 4cm long that seemed to have been jammed into the capsicum.

Mr Taylor told Stuff he called the supermarket immediately, and was told other capsicums would be taken off the shelves.

A Countdown spokesperson told Newshub they were aware of the incident, and the matter is now under investigation by NZ Police and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

The pointy discovery came just a day after a needle was found inside a punnet of strawberries at a Fresh Choice supermarket in Geraldine. It's the first time one's been found in any New Zealand-grown produce.

Three needles were found in another punnet in an Auckland supermarket in September.

More than 100 needles were found in fruit across Australia in a contamination crisis that proved devastating to at least one farm.


If you have any questions please call or email John Seymour.


The 2019 VNZI Annual General Meeting and Horticulture Conference will be held on Wednesday 31 July to Friday 2 August, at Mystery Creek, Hamilton...note your diary!


 Announcement - Fresh Vegetable Commodity Levy Vote Successful

VNZI are pleased to announce that the proposed new fresh vegetable commodity levy has been supported.  86.55% by number and 89.05% by value of those that voted in the recent referendum supported the proposal.

The Horticulture New Zealand and other vegetable product group referendums were also successful.

Many thanks if you were one of the 86.55% of fresh vegetable growers that cast your vote.

Next we will make an application to the Ministry for Primary Industries, who will take our request to the Minister for approval. The new levy order is expected to be in place around April 2019.

Under the new levy order, the fresh vegetable levy rate will remain the same at 0.30% for domestic sales and 0.20% for export sales.

Click here for the Horticulture New Zealand Media Release - 21 August 2018 

Fresh Vegetable Commodity Levy Referendum Proposal - VOTING HAS NOW CLOSED AND RESULTS WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON

As a fresh vegetable grower you will receive your voting papers for the fresh vegetable commodity levy referendum in July 2018.  Ballot papers were mailed out on 2 July 2018 with voting (online or by post) open for six weeks.

Key dates: VOTING OPENS on 2 July 2018 at 12:00am and CLOSES on 13 August 2018 at 12:00pm.

Who can vote?  All commercial fresh vegetable growers are entitled to vote.  Commercial fresh vegetable growers are those persons or businesses that are engaged in the commercial production of growing fresh vegetables in the 12 months preceding 30 June 2018.

How do I vote?  You can either vote online on www.electionz.com/hortCLA logging in using the PIN and password that will be provided in your voting paper. Or you can return the completed voting paper by post in the reply prepaid envelope.

How much will the levy be?  The maximum rate of levy will be: Domestic Sales 0.30% (30 cents per $100 of sales value; and Export sales: 0.20% (20 cents per $100 of sales value).  The rates are GST exclusive.

(Sales value means: for Domestic Sales - the price received at the first point of sale by the grower.  For Export sales - the price received at the first point of sale by the grower after all offshore costs (including international freight) are deducted.  (Exporter means a person whose business is or includes the export of fresh vegetables).

What will the levy be spent on?  VNZI are proposing the levies will be used for the following purposes relating to fresh vegetables and fresh vegetable growers:

  • Research and development
  • Biosecurity activities
  • Export and domestic market development
  • Fresh vegetable promotional activity
  • Development of quality assurance
  • Education and training
  • Grower information, communication and support
  • Day to day management and administration of Vegetables New Zealand Inc.
  • Grower representation

The levy will not be spent on any trading or commercial activity.

For more information on the Fresh Vegetable Commodity Levy proposal and voting process please call John Seymour on 0508 467 869

Download a brochure on the Vegetables NZ Incorporated Commodity Levy Proposal.




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