The two bodies representing the interests of the New Zealand
bee industry have joined forces to manage biosecurity risks
and be a single voice on issues they have in common.
The Bee Industry Group of Federated Farmers and the National
Beekeepers' Association (NBA) have formed the Beekeeping
Industry Advisory Council to address some of the issues
facing the wider bee products industry.
The move was prompted by Government insistence it deal with a
single entity when negotiating a Government Industry
Agreement (GIA) for biosecurity purposes, NBA chairman Ricki
However, both groups had also recognised the importance of
working together on other industry-wide issues, he said.
In a letter to members, Federated Farmers Bees chairman John
Hartnell said the new council would be able to "present a
united front" on important beekeeping issues.
"A unified front means we can get much more traction with
Government and other important groups."
There were matters of concern common to all.
Some were research and biosecurity related, some involved
market access and others involved representation, Mr Hartnell
"It has long been suggested that the industry does not
benefit from having different, sometimes competing, bodies
"That position dilutes industry's voice to Government, it
dilutes funding and it dilutes cohesiveness and industry
The hope was the combined council would be more effective at
addressing these issue on behalf of all members.
The council had two short-term goals - to work with the
Ministry for Primary Industries through GIA negotiations and
to conduct the first national bee health survey.
Mr Hartnell said there had been indications at industry
events in the past 18 to 24 months beekeepers would be keen
to see a more unified approach from the two organisations and
this was a "first step down that path".
The respective chairman and president as well as the seconds
in command of the two organisations will be on the council to
make sure both are equally represented .
NBA chief executive Daniel Paul will also work with the
- by Ruth Grundy