The Orchardist

Plenty for industry at Postharves­t 2020

Fruit and vegetable post-harvest stakeholde­rs are being urged to get involved in an industry day especially focused for them which is to be part of a post-harvest conference being held in Rotorua in early November.

- By Glenys Christian

Postharves­t 2020 is the ninth Internatio­nal Postharves­t Symposium, a global science event held every four years. The conference is being jointly organised by Dr Allan Woolf of Plant and Food Research and Andrew East of Massey University. Co-convener, Dr Woolf, said the broadbased event is the biggest worldwide for the discipline and there will be many participan­ts travelling to New Zealand from around the world to attend.

“Post-harvest science is important to New Zealand’s economic success and this country has to be a key player,” he said.

New Zealand’s experience in the field makes it an obvious choice for the symposium. Our unique global location and focus on exporting food means leading research and innovation is necessary to ensure the delivery of premium horticultu­ral products to markets on the other side of the world. The conference will provide a great opportunit­y to meet with leading post-harvest research profession­als, and offers a diverse and innovative programme, he said.

High quality science presentati­ons will deal with all aspects of post-harvest handling which enables harvested fruits and vegetables to maintain optimal quality and safety through to their final marketplac­e.the focus will be firmly on the biological and technologi­cal challenges in the post-harvest management of fresh horticultu­ral produce, including practical post-harvest treatments, storage technologi­es, and packaging and handling solutions. The underpinni­ng physiologi­cal mechanisms and new technologi­es to measure and assess quality of fruit, vegetables and flowers will also be discussed. Sessions dealing with these subjects will be balanced with engaging workshops and informal discussion­s during extended morning and afternoon tea breaks.

“We want to encourage people to have interactio­ns,” Allan said. “We will certainly keep to time, but people like what Kiwis bring to conference­s with their relaxed and informal way of doing things.”

Planning for Postharves­t 2020 began even before the last conference was held in 2016 and it is hoped that over 300 people will attend. Allan Woolf’s co-convener is Massey University post-harvest engineer, Professor Andrew East. There are a further eight Plant & Food Research staff on the organising committee, along with two from Massey and one from platinum sponsor, Zespri.

Putting the contributi­on of young people front and centre means there’s a strong push to match around 20 doctorate students from Plant & Food Research and Massey University who will be attending, with counterpar­ts drawn from around the world.along with a full day internatio­nal developmen­t aid pre-conference workshop on Monday November 9, there will be a half-day student workshop held in the afternoon where they can learn about publishing skills as well as getting the chance to meet leading researcher­s in the field and discuss potential career pathways and the skills needed to take each pathway.

“We’re wanting to promote the young people of our research community and it will be a great chance for PHD students to get together and discuss some of the specific challenges of their stage of career,” Allan said.

A conference app will allow creation and maintenanc­e of connection­s made at Postharves­t 2020 long after it’s finished.

Allan Woolf said a number of abstracts have already come in and there has been a very good response from potential attendees, although it is difficult at this stage to get an accurate picture of numbers.

More informatio­n is available at www.scienceeve­nts. co.nz/postharves­t2020/.

 ??  ?? Plant & Food Research postharves­t science team leader, Dr Allan Woolf, the co-convener of Postharves­t 2020, says growers who attend its industry day will gain up-to-date informatio­n from experts from around the world.
Plant & Food Research postharves­t science team leader, Dr Allan Woolf, the co-convener of Postharves­t 2020, says growers who attend its industry day will gain up-to-date informatio­n from experts from around the world.

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