Businesses are jumping on-board a new campaign by pledging to play their part in efforts to prevent pests and diseases from getting into New Zealand, or helping to stop their spread if they do get here.
The first-of-its-kind Biosecurity Business Pledge – to protect our country from pests and diseases – was launched on October 31, with Fonterra, Auckland Airport, Goodman Fielder, Countdown and Mainfreight throwing their support behind the project.
Businesses that commit to the pledge by integrating proactive biosecurity practices into their operations and supply chains.
This includes actively seeking to understand and manage biosecurity considerations associated with their business activities; promoting a culture of proactive biosecurity management within operations, across their business, around their board tables, and across their teams.
It means incorporating biosecurity into their procurement policies that guide the selection of goods, travel, logistics, and service providers; and taking opportunities to support customers, staff, suppliers and stakeholders to understand the importance of biosecurity and what good biosecurity practice looks like.
Lastly, it’s about approaching biosecurity with the view it is everyone's responsibility, that risk is best managed offshore, and they will actively engage with the Ministry for Primary Industries to support better biosecurity outcomes for NZ.
Biosecurity Minister Damien O‘Connor 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.
"Our primary sector is worth more than $46.4 billion annually and tourism is worth more than $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 Kiwi businesses, communities and the wider NZ economy.
Benefits to participating businesses include improved early engagement with Biosecurity NZ on emerging biosecurity issues and risks, and opportunities to work in good faith together to improve outcomes for individual businesses through quarterly biosecurity updates and more regular heads-up alerts.
The latest KPMG Agribusiness Agenda reveals biosecurity is the top-ranked issue for NZ business leaders for the 10th year in a row.
Damien says biosecurity also remains a priority for the Government.