Un­der the Mikero­scope

The 2017 Hor­ti­cul­ture Con­fer­ence has been de­signed to in­spire con­ver­sa­tion and cre­ate new ideas, with ev­ery­one work­ing in our in­dus­try in mind.

NZ Grower - - Contents - If you haven’t reg­is­tered yet, go to www.con­fer.co.nz/hortnz2017/ to do so.

Hor­ti­cul­ture Con­fer­ence is the place to be

We are look­ing for­ward to a large and vi­brant con­fer­ence, to be held in Mt Maun­ganui from July 12-14. We will be show­cas­ing the in­no­va­tive ways that many of you are pro­duc­ing healthy food, for all, for­ever.

Healthy food for all for­ever is the vi­sion of Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand, and the theme of this year’s con­fer­ence. Giv­ing ef­fect to this vi­sion and theme, there are ses­sions fo­cused on con­sumer trends, as well as on get­ting year 8 and 9 stu­dents in New Zealand schools learn­ing how to cook veg­eta­bles. How are we help­ing healthy food be­come a part of ev­ery­day think­ing for our young peo­ple? We can lead by ex­am­ple and en­cour­age schools to use the fan­tas­tic food that we grow as tools for our chil­dren’s education.

Amer­i­can food and agribusi­ness ex­pert Roland Fu­masi is one of the key­note speak­ers. He is well-known world­wide for his work for Rabobank’s RaboRe­search Food & Agribusi­ness group. Based in Fresno, Cal­i­for­nia, he is re­spon­si­ble for cov­er­ing and analysing the US and North Amer­i­can fresh fruit and veg­etable in­dus­tries. He brings to the con­fer­ence his un­der­stand­ing of the con­sumer-led mar­ket fo­cus and the chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties as­so­ci­ated with that. He is a pro­po­nent of de­liv­er­ing ex­actly what con­sumers want safe, con­sis­tent, high qual­ity pro­duce that is good value, but also has a light im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment. Fol­low­ing on from Roland’s ad­dress, Mel Auld from Ze­spri will present the world-lead­ing Ze­spri ap­proach to meet­ing the de­mands of the con­sumer to achieve pre­mium re­turns.

No con­fer­ence to­day could be com­plete with­out the fu­ture of trade be­ing ad­dressed, with Brexit and Pres­i­dent Trump’s elec­tion be­ing cov­ered. This is par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant with the Euro­pean and United King­dom Free Trade Agree­ments to be ne­go­ti­ated.

There are some sig­nif­i­cant prac­ti­cal ses­sions cov­er­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence of a Work­safe in­ves­ti­ga­tion; what is hap­pen­ing at the bor­der to pro­tect us from biose­cu­rity in­cur­sions; and what in­dus­try and gov­ern­ment are do­ing about the brown mar­morated stink bug. Our sec­ond key note speaker Dr Jacqueline Rowarth, chief sci­en­tist for the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Au­thor­ity, will be pre­sent­ing with Dr Mau­reen O’Cal­laghan.

The Fresh Pro­duce Safety & Trace­abil­ity Chal­lenge ad­dress­ing the cur­rent re­al­ity, emerg­ing trends and the road ahead, will be pre­sented by Richard Ben­nett, Food Safety and Sci­ence Man­ager for the Fresh Pro­duce Safety

Cen­tre orig­i­nally es­tab­lished by the Pro­duce Mar­ket­ing As­so­ci­a­tion Aus­trali­aNew Zealand. Richard is the Aus­tralian Di­rec­tor of the In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion for Pro­duce Stan­dards (IFPS) and chairs the IFPS Food Safety Com­mit­tee. Richard will be pre­sent­ing with Dr Hans Mauer.

Dr Mau­rer acts as the Knowl­edge Of­fi­cer for United Fresh New Zealand In­cor­po­rated. Hans is the New Zealand Di­rec­tor of the In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion for Pro­duce Stan­dards (IFPS) and chairs the IFPS Chain In­for­ma­tion Com­mit­tee.

Re­search shows that 70 per­cent of pur­chas­ing de­ci­sions are made by women. It is there­fore im­por­tant to en­sure that there is di­ver­sity in our se­nior man­age­ment and on our boards. This theme is to be ad­dressed by a pre­sen­ta­tion of re­search into our in­dus­try’s par­tic­i­pa­tion of women in these lead­ing roles.

What will chal­lenge us in an un­ex­pected way? We look at the fu­ture dis­rup­tors and in­no­va­tive think­ing be­yond the or­chard gate. We are for­tu­nate to have some ex­cel­lent speak­ers here, with thought lead­ers Ti­aki Hu­nia, David Pow­ell and An­gela Clif­ford.

In ad­di­tion to a great speaker and dis­cus­sion line-up, we have 30 trade ex­hibitors sup­port­ing the con­fer­ence, a field trip to see in­no­va­tive ki­wifruit and av­o­cado op­er­a­tions, and a spe­cial trip to Jenk­ins La­bels. So this is a must at­tend event that of­fers a sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­nity to net­work with the lead­ers in our in­dus­try.

I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing you all there.

◀ No con­fer­ence to­day could be com­plete with­out the fu­ture of trade be­ing ad­dressed, with Brexit and Pres­i­dent Trump's elec­tion be­ing cov­ered.

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