A Tauranga woman is helping the local horticulture industry lift its game.
Phillippa Wright has 15 years' experience in the industry and says breaches of workers' rights and confusion about compliance have the potential to affect horticulture's reputation and bottom line.
Phillippa is behind the new not-for-profit, community-based co-operative called Pick BOP.
She says the idea is to give members access to training and support in areas like recruitment, labour laws and Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) management.
The co-operative will keep members up to date with the latest regulations and specialist knowledge so members can be confident they are on the right side of the law and are maintaining high standards.
"We've all heard stories of exploited workers and that's a bad look for the industry and New Zealand exports," says Phillippa.
"Pick BOP is a recruitment office with a commitment to best practice, offering high quality services specific to the horticulture industry.
"International customers are also increasingly looking at a grower's social responsibility.
"Making sure staff are well trained and safe are just as important for the bottom line as the product quality, so it's win-win."
Pick BOP serves a different role to industry advocacy groups.
"What I saw missing was a collaborative solution.
"We want to make things transparent for members, by not accepting any non-compliant behaviour."
Pick BOP opened its doors in at 153 Jellicoe St, Te Puke earlier this week.