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.
Are you a potential leader in the hort industry? And want to upskill? You could be going on this year's HortNZ Leadership Programme.
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.
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
Download a brochure on the Vegetables NZ Incorporated Commodity Levy Proposal.