Press Releases and Media Statements

Seed Certification Changes coming for Growers

Wednesday, February 7th, 2024

7th February 2024 – News Release

2024 will be a watershed year for growers of certified seed in New Zealand.

A new Seed Certification Information System will be implemented soon and field production standards for seed certification are being updated for the first time in nearly 10 years.

Possibly the most significant change for seed growers will be in the way certification charges are invoiced.

Until now, invoices for the costs associated with getting crops certified such as inspections and testing, have come from AsureQuality, the industry’s certification service provider and independent verification authority.

But from next month, growers will receive an invoice from the New Zealand Seeds Authority (NZSA), the organisation which built the Seed Certification Information System and determines how seed certification is administered in NZ.

The new NZSA invoices will show the certification charges and levies, previously incorporated into the AsureQuality invoices.

Grower payments for the NZSA invoices will help cover operating costs for the National Seed Certification Office and allow it to recover the cost of building the new certification system.

The new invoicing arrangement came about through Federated Farmers Arable representation on the NZSA Executive and has been welcomed by growers.

The NZSA invoices will list certification charges based on a rate per kilogram of machine-dressed seed. This rate is anticipated to be around 6c/kg for small seeds and 1.2c/kg for grain.

Charges will be shared equally between growers and seed companies for proprietary seeds. For multiplication crops grown for re-export, growers will pay 75% of the charges.

For commodity seeds such as Nui perennial ryegrass and Huia white clover, growers will pay 100% of the charges. A 10-tonne line of Nui ryegrass is likely to cost a grower around $600 in certification charges.

Some seed companies are already paying for certification costs as part of their grower contract for selected crop types, so these agreements will not be affected by the new invoicing arrangement.

For further please contact:

George Gerard

Manager NZSA


Ph:  (+64) 27 4474807 web:

New Zealand Seed Exports are Increasing in Value

Friday, February 2nd, 2024

News Release – 29th January 2024

The New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association was delighted with a great seed export year.

The total value of New Zealand seed exports, in calendar year 2023, totalled $281m, 27% up on the previous year, according to data issued by Stats NZ this week.

New Zealand seeds were exported to over 60 countries in 2023.

The top five export markets by value were the Netherlands, Australia, USA, China and Germany. Together, they account for around 60% of total export sales.

Pasture seeds including ryegrass and clover seed, vegetable seeds namely carrot, radish and beet seed and cereal and oil seeds were our top export categories, earning $259.5million, $3.1million and $18.8 million respectively in 2023.

More than 80% of NZs seed production is in the Canterbury region centered in and around the Ashburton district encompassing over 40,000 hectares of certified crop.

“Our global customers select New Zealand as they know we have high integrity aided by a very good certification system which delivers a quality, consistent and unique product that they can trust,” says association General manager, Thomas Chin.

“The export turnover achieved emphasises the resilience of the industry, amid a year that has been full of weather challenges, increasing production costs and inconsistent shipping reliability.

“With the new Government’s focus on an export-led recovery, we look forward to seeing those initiatives comes through so that our sector can get on and generate the revenue and the dividend that helps keep people in jobs, especially within the regions”, he added.

For further information contact:

Thomas Chin, General Manager NZGSTA

ph (03) 349 8430; or 021 679 989

Industry Godfathers Recognised at 2023 Asian Seed Congress

Monday, December 11th, 2023

Ashburton Guardian – 30 November 2023

During the Asian Seed Congress John McKay and the late Ross Smith were acknowledged for their development and contribution to the export trade to Asia. Read the full story here:

SeedQuest News – Asian Seed Congress

Monday, December 11th, 2023

SeedQuest News on 28th Asian Seed Congress

28th Asian Seed Congress Convenes in Christchurch

Monday, December 11th, 2023

AgroPages – AgEvents

Sewing the Seeds of Success – Rural News

Monday, December 11th, 2023

Rural News 7 December 2023 – Nigel Malthus

2023 Asian Seed Congress Success

Seed Testing Analysts and Technicians Recognised

Sunday, October 29th, 2023

6 October 2023

At the annual conference of the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association, held 4th and 5th October, the New Zealand Seeds Authority announced an industry-endorsed certificate recognising seed testing laboratory staff.

Pictured: Thomas Chin, Kelly Evans (Chairperson of NZSTA), Sue Cousins (AsureQuality), Maryanne McErlane (NZ Seedlab), Amanda James (Barenbrug)

Seed laboratories and their staff provide a range of essential services to the seed sector and their customers.

The laboratory teams provide a range of detailed reports ranging from plant health to seed viability and germination potential, helping farmers, and assuring customers in our domestic and overseas markets.

Extracting this and other seed test information are seed analysts and other technicians.

Their service and hard work fly under the radar and in recognition of the profession, our industry bodies, in collaboration with seed laboratory managers and the NZ Seed Testing Society, have begun awarding the certificate of experience and proficiency to nominated staff.

The awarding of an industry-recognised certificate brings a step change in thinking about the profession and will increase awareness of the profession, retain staff and attract the next generation to take up the role.

Speaking on behalf of the wider trade, Association general manager Thomas Chin said seed laboratories and technicians play a key role in providing the industry with a range of test results, including plant health, seed purity and germination data

“So, it’s very important that we have a strong recognition of seed analysts and the role they play in advancing our industry forward”, he said.

Kelly Evans, chairperson of NZSTS, agrees that recognition of seed testing professionals is hugely important and sees great benefits for increasing visibility of the seed testing field.

She said, “This industry-supported certificate of recognition is a major step towards developing the relationship between seed testing and wider industry, so that analysts and technicians may understand the context of their work and other industry professionals can deepen their understanding of the seed testing process and the results they interpret.”

For further information, please contact:

Kelly Evans


NZ Seed Testing Society

03 – 325 3578

Charlotte Connoley – First Female President

Sunday, October 29th, 2023

6 October 2023

Charlotte Connoley has become the first female president of the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association (NZGSTA).

Charlotte was elected at the association’s annual general meeting, held earlier this week in Auckland, to succeed Michael Hales as president.

Charlotte has more than 20 years of experience in the seed industry, she joined the NZGSTA executive in 2018, being the first female executive in the Association’s 100-year history, and has been chair of the Vegetable Business Group also since 2018.

Currently, Charlotte is Co-Owner and General Manager of Kings Seeds (New Zealand) Ltd an ecommerce seed company based out of the Bay of Plenty supplying home gardeners and wholesale customers nationwide.

Charlotte said: “I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead the Association. The focus will still remain firmly on member value initiatives – opportunities for education, advocacy, collaboration and trade.

Questioned on being the first female President of the Association “Personally it is important to me that females within our industry feel supported to take roles at any level throughout their organizations that they are qualified for. Demand for knowledgeable primary sector employees is always strong in NZ with an ag/hort based economy and so the challenge remains for the seed industry to be an attractive employer of diverse talent.

“The seed industry in New Zealand is recognised worldwide as a critical component in the agri-food value chain and as a leading counter-season producer, processor and exporter of high-quality seed. We have a highly motivated group of industry members who are contributing to growth and change within the industry.

“Operationally whilst we have seen some improvements in policy there still remains many uncertainties affecting the entire agriculture sector that could impose additional compliance burdens on business. Our relationship with government agencies such as the Ministry for Primary Industries remains key to clear communication to work through these challenges for our sector.

“The Association continues to evolve and ensure its relevance in modern agriculture including the soon to be launched new seed certification project which will deliver lasting change for the next generation of seed growers and merchants.

“Our focus will be to continue the good work of previous executives and to play our part in domestic and global food security whilst providing value to our members throughout the agri-food value chain”.

Charlotte paid tribute to Michael Hales, who will continue to serve on the Association’s Executive Council.


NZ Grown Wheat Can Replace Overseas Imports

Friday, October 27th, 2023

Rural Guardian – October 2023


Seed Certification System set to Launch

Wednesday, August 30th, 2023

Seed Certification Information System