Pres­i­dent’s word

It was great to catch up with good friends and col­leagues at last month's an­nual con­fer­ence in Christchurch.

NZ Grower - - Contents - Ju­lian Raine | Pres­i­dent HortNZ

An ex­cep­tional in­dus­try

Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand com­bined re­sources and part­nered up with a num­ber of other prod­uct groups NZ Ap­ples and Pears, Vegeta­bles NZ, Process Vegeta­bles and To­ma­toesNZ. This month’s mag­a­zine has an ex­cel­lent fea­ture with pic­tures on pages 6-29. For those of you who were part of the 450 strong au­di­ence it will help to rekin­dle the great time that was en­joyed and for those of you who didn’t go it will give you a taste of what you missed out on.

The con­fer­ence theme this year was Our Food Story. In short, how do we tell our story bet­ter amounst our­selves, our com­mu­nity, to the wider New Zealand pub­lic and to our cus­tomers both on­shore and off­shore. There were some great speak­ers and good lessons for us all.

I have prob­a­bly re­ceived some of the best con­fer­ence feed­back from those who went on the field trip to Zealan­dia, Meadow Mush­rooms and Plant & Food Re­search. Thank you to those busi­nesses who gen­er­ously do­nated their time and re­sources to mak­ing it such a suc­cess. To open up your busi­nesses to bus­loads of grow­ers so they could see be­hind closed doors was very much ap­pre­ci­ated. Like­wise to the con­fer­ence spon­sors for your on­go­ing sup­port for this event which is also ap­pre­ci­ated.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to the re­cip­i­ents of the var­i­ous awards. Peter McBride took out the ul­ti­mate award the Bledis­loe Cup. Peter’s ster­ling con­tri­bu­tion has been over 35 years. His lead­er­ship at the helm of Ze­spri has been truly re­mark­able. Dur­ing that time there have been some sig­nif­i­cant is­sues which he has steered the ki­wifruit in­dus­try through. The ki­wifruit in­dus­try was also hon­oured with Trevelyan’s pick­ing up the in­au­gu­ral En­vi­ron­ment Award. James Trevelyan and his team have done an ex­traor­di­nary job in show­ing us how to ap­proach sus­tain­abil­ity in ev­ery­thing they do. Their en­vi­ron­men­tal sta­tis­tics are in­cred­i­ble. Sim­ply a great think­ing team tak­ing the chal­lenges of how to do things bet­ter. Tim Egan won the Pres­i­dent’s Tro­phy for his con­tri­bu­tion and lead­er­ship within hor­ti­cul­ture. In the Gis­borne re­gion, Tim has done a fan­tas­tic job with the un­em­ployed and get­ting them into hor­ti­cul­tural work. Ser­vice awards were pre­sented to Gra­ham Martin and Garry El­liot. Life Mem­ber­ship was be­stowed upon Earnsey Weaver from Otago. Once again con­grat­u­la­tions to all of you.

I am pleased we took the con­fer­ence to Christchurch, as many of the con­fer­ence del­e­gates hadn’t been to the city since the post-earth­quake re­build had started. Many com­mented on the progress be­ing made to trans­form the place. The se­ries of dev­as­tat­ing earth­quakes has def­i­nitely re-shaped the city like no one could ever have en­vis­aged. The re­silience of Can­ter­bri­ans has to be ad­mired. There is a cer­tain tough­ness that has been de­vel­oped. The com­mu­nity spirit has adapted to the dis­rup­tion and up­heaval. Along­side this was the tra­di­tional warm wel­come and hos­pi­tal­ity that shone through at the con­fer­ence. Thank-you to the local grow­ers for all your help and gen­eros­ity you showed in host­ing us. Equally, a huge vote of thanks from me to Eve and your or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee - you all made this event such a suc­cess. Well done!

Next year the con­fer­ence will be held at the Mys­tery Creek fa­cil­ity from July 31 to Au­gust 2, 2019. We will be try­ing a slightly dif­fer­ent for­mat with a blend of prac­ti­cal demon­stra­tions along­side guest speak­ers. There is a good blend of local grow­ers for both the vegetable and fruit in­dus­tries close to Mys­tery Creek for po­ten­tial field trips.

This month we are tak­ing the Hor­ti­cul­tural In­dus­try Fo­rum to Hawke’s Bay. Local grow­ers are wel­come to come along. We usu­ally get a good muster from all of the prod­uct groups and a few of the strong grower as­so­ci­a­tions also at­tend. This meet­ing will co­in­cide with the Young Grower of the Year fi­nal. So come out and sup­port the event. It is re­ally pleas­ing to see such a great group of young peo­ple so keen to win the na­tional ti­tle. There is a lot of prepa­ra­tion go­ing on around the coun­try as each con­tes­tant swats up on ev­ery as­pect of grow­ing. Who­ever wins in Napier will go on to com­pete for the ti­tle of Young Hor­ti­cul­tur­al­ist of the Year on Novem­ber 8-9 in

The con­fer­ence theme this year was Our Food Story. In short, how do we tell our story bet­ter amounst our­selves, our com­mu­nity, to the wider New Zealand pub­lic and to our cus­tomers - both on­shore and off­shore.

Auck­land. Our win­ner will be up against the re­spec­tive win­ners from other hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­tries in­clud­ing NZ Wine Grow­ers, Floristry NZ, NZ Flower Grow­ers, Land­scap­ing NZ, NZ Plant Pro­duc­ers and Amenity Grow­ers.

May the best per­son win!

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