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.
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.