A pledge to protect New Zealand from pests and diseases

A group of more than 50 Kiwi companies have signed a first-of-its-kind pledge to protect New Zealand from pests and diseases. Now, we’re encouraging all Tauranga Moana businesses to join.

The Biosecurity Business Pledge – which includes some of New Zealand’s biggest businesses, including Fonterra, Auckland Airport, Countdown and Mainfreight – was launched recently by participating businesses and Biosecurity Minister Damien O‘Connor (pictured above holding sign).

Bay of Plenty companies Zespri, Trevelyan’s Pack and Cool, Kiwifruit Vine Health, and Jenkins Freshpac Systems, among others, are also in on the initiative.

“As a nation that depends on trade and tourism, and a country whose lifestyle is linked to our unique natural environment, having a culture of everyone taking responsibility for biosecurity is vital,’’ O’Connor said.

“Our primary sector is worth more than $46.4 billion dollars annually and tourism is worth over $39 billion. The economic benefits of that flow through to all New Zealanders and we have to protect it.”

The aim of the pledge is to take a more proactive approach to biosecurity by improving the partnership between government and businesses, to help prevent unnecessary costs and disruptions for New Zealand businesses, communities, our taonga and our cultural economy.

Trevelyan’s Pack and Cool in Te Puke has felt the pain of biosecurity threats. Its kiwifruit was hit with the bacterial disease PSA in 2010.

“As it arrived on my orchard, our orchard, the whole personal experience of the loss and the journey of pulling the community together will stay with me for life,” managing director James Trevelyan said.

He’s pleased to be a part of the new pledge, with his attention now shifting to future threats, including the menacing brown marmorated stink bug.

As part of the pledge, businesses agree to play their part in the efforts to prevent pests and diseases, like BMSB, from getting into New Zealand, or helping to stop their spread if they do get here.

They also commit to integrating proactive biosecurity practices into their operations and supply chains.

Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital co-chair Graeme Marshall urges local businesses to sign up to the pledge.

“This pledge is a significant means for Tauranga Moana businesses to lead and take collaborative action towards biosecurity excellence,” he said.

“Proactive biosecurity management matters to everyone earning a living and operating a business in the Bay of Plenty, where the economy is dependent on the natural environment.

“There’s enormous opportunity for businesses to learn from each other and to share information about the approaches that we’re taking for better biosecurity.”

The pledge initiative was created by business for business.

The new pledge network provides increased support to businesses in driving their own proactive biosecurity activity with staff, suppliers and customers.

Click here to join the Biosecurity Business Pledge, or find out more.