Highlighting the horticulture industry

Industry networking, business to business interaction and education will be at the forefront of this year’s BNZ National Horticultural Field Days, to be held in Hawke’s Bay in June.

Organised by the Hawke’s Bay A&P Society, the event is described as a true showcase of New Zealand’s horticulture industry. BNZ National Horticultural Field Days General Manager, Sally Jackson, says that the event is an ideal conduit to assist the industry to continue to grow and address current issues. “The Field Days provide a platform to discuss topics such as staff shortages, attracting the new generation into horticulture careers and the myriad of issues that impact on the environment,” she says.

Sally explains that the value of New Zealand’s horticultural products continues to rise and now exceeds $8.8 billion. “This industry is absolutely amazing, products from right across New Zealand are exported to over 120 countries. Hawke’s Bay alone accounts for two thirds of all apple and pear outputs and this is one of the main reasons Hastings is home to this event – the largest horticulturefocused field days in New Zealand.” Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers Association Executive Officer, Dianne Vesty, says the future of fruit growing is exciting, with technology advancing at a rapid pace. “The talents and skills needed for high tech operations will continue to constantly evolve,” she says. “Fruit growing needs tech savvy, outside of the box thinkers who are willing to learn new skills.”

The BNZ National Horticultural Field Days provides a strong conduit for education and career development across the sector, with the emphasis on adding to the future labour pool within the region and across the country. Innovation is another strong focus for the 2019 event. New Zealand horticulturalists represent some of the most innovative and industrious producers and companies in the country and this will be highlighted at the “Innovation Hub”, which will include new-to-market equipment and inspirational products.

Event Manager, Di Roadley, says the Hawke’s Bay A&P Society recently launched a refreshed brand for the event with a new, contemporary logo – highlighting the ongoing evolution of the Field Days. “We are incredibly excited to see this event grow and have a significant impact on our community,” she says. “Responding to feedback received from the industry we have been able to expand the duration of the event, creating more opportunity for stakeholders and the ability to develop the Field Days into a quality juncture to support the sector in a meaningful way.”

Held over two days, the event will include more than 80 horticulture focused trade exhibits, interactive displays of new and innovative machinery coming to market, conference-style sessions for mid to senior management and secondary school educational programmes. The Hawke’s Bay Young Fruit Grower of the Year Competition will also be held during the event.

The BNZ National Horticultural Field Days will run from 26th to 27th June 2019 at Showgrounds Hawke’s Bay Tomoana. Visit the Farmlands team at site 210-211.