Horticulture has a fantastic story to tell about the provenance of New Zealand fruit and vegetables and that is the theme of this year’s Horticulture Conference, being held at the Air Force Museum in Christchurch from 23 to 25 July.
“As people around the world turn towards a more plant-based diet and start looking at the contribution food makes to their general health, horticulture is a growing industry that presents lots of opportunities,” Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says.
“With an industry value of $5.68 billion, we make a significant contribution to New Zealand’s financial well-being.
“But in addition to our economic story, we have a great provenance story. We are producing healthy food, have high standards of food safety, and environmental sustainability is a strong focus.”
Keynote speakers include Kok Hwee Ng, the Head of Global Marketing at Zespri, and Dr Steve Wratten, Professor of Ecology at Lincoln University. Kok Hwee Ng, based in Singapore, leads the strategic direction for the Zespri brand globally and her responsibilities include all marketing development across brand, innovation, shopper, health, digital and media planning. Dr Wratten is one of the top global researchers on biological control of pests and he has studied and worked in the Universities of Reading, Glasgow, London, Cambridge and Southampton. He holds three doctorates and four professorships and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Conference sessions include: Sustainable Soil and Nutrient Management; New Zealand Growers Telling their Stories; and The Consumer and the Story.
There is also a session on The Post-Pesticide Age, looking at the alternatives to agrichemicals and how they are being developed for commercial horticulture. Increasingly, consumers are demanding “chemical-free” produce, and there is a wide variety of work going on in New Zealand to develop commercially applicable physical, biological, and ecological pest management techniques.
The conference is a combined event with Horticulture New Zealand, New Zealand Apples & Pears, Vegetables New Zealand Inc., Process Vegetables New Zealand, and Tomatoes New Zealand Inc. taking part. In addition to conference sessions there are industry exhibitors showing the latest tools of the trade.
The Annual General Meetings of Horticulture New Zealand, New Zealand Apples & Pears, Vegetables New Zealand, Process Vegetables New Zealand and Tomatoes New Zealand are being held in conjunction with the Horticulture Conference.
More information is available here.