It's been a hard and stressful year or the country's summerfruit growers.
“Our industries, in particular those who employ workers from Tonga, have been saddened by news of the tsunami and its impact,” says the horticulture industry labour collective, comprising NZ Apples & Pears, NZ Kiwifruit Growers, Summerfruit NZ, NZ Wine, NZ Ethical Employers, and HortNZ.
“Our focus is on helping the economy of Tonga recover. That’s because the immediate response is in hand, thanks to the efforts of governments, civil defence and agencies like the Red Cross.
“We are using the Growers Relief Fund to collect donations to support the recovery. As has happened previously, money donated by our industry will be used to help small businesses, such as market gardens, recover.”
The collective says that, in some areas, donations will be used to rebuild community buildings.
“Our industries will also be ensuring the approximately 1,000 workers from Tonga currently in New Zealand working are well supported, now and in the coming months. We are working with our growers and employers on that,” the collective says.
The Growers Relief Fund is a charity designed to help support growers in an adverse event, with wellness or when additional support is needed.
The fund also helps people working in the horticulture industry who need assistance.
Growers, employers and other parts of the horticulture and wine grape industries can donate by going to https://horticulturenewzealand.formstack.com/forms/grower_relief_fund_donation_form.