Hay­ward Medal for en­vi­ron­men­tal con­tri­bu­tion

The Fresh Car­ri­ers Hay­ward Medal has been awarded to Dr David Steven, recog­nis­ing his work to fun­da­men­tally shift how the ki­wifruit in­dus­try man­ages pests and dis­ease, im­prov­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal out­comes and un­der­scor­ing mar­ket con­fi­dence in Ze­spri ki­wifruit

The Orchardist - - Kiwifruit -

Ki­wifruit in­dus­try ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee chair­man and Ze­spri di­rec­tor Paul Jones pre­sented the Medal at the Gala Din­ner for the ki­wifruit in­dus­try’s Mo­men­tum con­fer­ence, recog­nis­ing the enor­mous im­pact of Dr Steven’s life­time of ser­vice to the ki­wifruit in­dus­try as the in­dus­try cel­e­brated the 20th an­niver­sary of the Ze­spri brand.

“David de­vel­oped the In­te­grated Pest Man­age­ment pro­gramme, known as Ki­wiGreen, back in 1991 which fun­da­men­tally shifted how the ki­wifruit in­dus­try man­ages diseases and pests, and changed the phi­los­o­phy of agri­chem­i­cal use for­ever. It revolutionised hor­ti­cul­ture around the world and 26 years later, Ki­wiGreen still de­fines the way we use agri­chem­i­cals and man­age our or­chards.

“It also moved the in­dus­try to­wards us­ing more en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly agri­chem­i­cals to tar­get spe­cific pests and diseases, re­sult­ing in greater bio­di­ver­sity in the orchard,” says Mr Jones.

Rig­or­ous sys­tems like this un­der­pin the Ze­spri brand, which turns 20 tonight, with the prom­ise of qual­ity and safety in the mar­ket.

“David pi­o­neered the idea of ‘demon­strated need’ 26 years ago through the Ki­wiGreen pro­gramme where or­chardists would mon­i­tor their or­chards and only use the agri­chem­i­cals they ac­tu­ally needed at that time and record­ing it, shift­ing from cal­en­dar spray­ing to a more low-im­pact phi­los­o­phy.While this is now main­stream prac­tice, the move away from cal­en­dar spray­ing was rad­i­cal at the time and met with con­sid­er­able re­sis­tance.

“Re­duc­ing agri­chem­i­cal use saved more than money: it low­ered the risk of residues on fruit, re­duced en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts and un­der­pinned mar­ket con­fi­dence in our fruit,” says Mr Jones.

Ki­wiGreen is now at the heart of the Ze­spri Sys­tem, the sys­tems and process which guar­an­tee Ze­spri’s con­sumers and cus­tomers pre­mium qual­ity, great tast­ing and healthy fruit.

“David has con­tin­ued to lead and sup­port Ze­spri and grow­ers in this vi­tal role for many years, re­tir­ing just last year. His was the fa­mil­iar voice at the end of the Ki­wiGreen helpline, on hand to help grow­ers solve prob­lems on or­chards around the coun­try,” says Mr Jones.

The Fresh Car­ri­ers Hay­ward Medal was pre­sented by Mr Takeshige, pres­i­dent of Fresh Car­ri­ers.

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