The National Horticulture Fieldays will be held on the 2 & 3 June at the Tomoana Showgrounds Hastings. This year the A & P Society has a strong line-up of guest speakers and a brand new format addressing topical horticulture issues.

Details will be released by A & P in the coming weeks.  The two day event will include:

Wednesday 2 June

Industry Field Trip: Innovation and technology at NZ Frost Fans, Rockit Global and Hawk Packaging: 8am – 11.30am

Ravensdown Innovation in Horticulture Lunch: 12pm – 1.20pm

Judging of the Ravensdown Horticulture Innovation and Environment Award: 9am – 11am

Networking After 4: 4pm – 7pm

Future-Up Education Programme for Secondary Schools: 9am – 2pm


Thursday 3 June

HBRC Horticulture and the Environment Breakfast: 7am – 8.20am

Hawke’s Bay Young Fruit Grower of the Year Competition: 9- 4pm

Yara Women in Horticulture lunch: 12pm – 1.20pm


To register your interest and to receive information on the above events, please email hort@showgroundshb.co.nz

Regan Judd was crowned Hawke’s Bay Young Fruit Grower of the Year in 2019, and with entries closing in just over a month, his advice to those contemplating about entering, is ‘just do it!’

Studying horticulture at University helped steer Regan to a role as Senior Leading Hand at T & G Pipfruit, but he entered the competition to give himself the opportunity to meet other like-minded people and to test his skills and knowledge.

“The competition showed me where my strengths were, and what I needed to work on. But the biggest takeaway was the connections I made throughout the local industry, connections that will no doubt influence me as I continue my career.

It is a great environment to meet new people and learn new things. Both through the Competition, and through the new connections you make along the way. It is an extremely rewarding experience, one that will open doors to create a great future for yourself in the horticulture industry,” said Judd.

Eight contestants are tested on a range of theoretical and practical challenges on the first day of activities and are then asked to present a speech at the dinner on the following night. The winner then goes on to represent Hawke’s Bay at the Young Grower of the Year final later in the year.

“The Young Grower competitions helped me to appreciate just how exciting our industry is. The opportunity to get to know other young growers from across the country has helped to understand why I do what I do and helped me enjoy it even more.

Winning the title also gave me the opportunity to join the Executive International Horticultural Immersion Programme (Executive IHIP) where we travelled to Europe in early 2020. It opened up my eyes to horticultural practises on the other side of the world. The influence all this has had on my career is massive, it has provided me with a great path to grow my knowledge and to step up in an exciting industry,” said Judd.

Entries close on the 30th April. For  more information and to complete the application form online https://hbfa.co.nz/contestant-entry-form/

Primary ITO with the Horticulture Capability Group have developed a biosecurity micro-credential to enhance industry capability.

The programme is designed to give business owners and managers the skills to develop, implement and improve workplace biosecurity strategies and practices on their property. At the end of the qualification, your people will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to identify, evaluate and prioritise biosecurity risks in the primary sector workplace; develop a plan to manage biosecurity risks for a primary industry workplace; implement and monitor the biosecurity plan, and review and update the biosecurity plan.

This Level 5 NZQA qualification is free under the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) and is being delivered by UCOL on behalf of Primary ITO. Ensure the managers in your business are leaders in our “biosecurity team of 5 million” by equipping them with this formal, targeted and specific qualification.

The Hastings course will be held on the 19 October.
Contact Primary ITO on 0800 20 80 20 find out more, and to enroll.


Last night, HBFA held its 2020 Annual General Meeting and we are pleased to announce the following members have been appointed onto the Executive Committee in their respective roles:

 President: Richard Pentreath

Vice President: Brydon Nisbet

Richard brings a strong strategic and operations background into the role with extensive experience in the horticulture sector. Previous roles include Orchard Productivity Manager for Zespri, Senior Consultant with AgFirst and he is currently Regional Manager at Ngai Tukairangi Trust. Richard is the Hawke’s Bay/Lower North Island Forum representative for Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated (KGI) and was previously Kiwifruit Sector Chair for HBFA.
As an orchard owner and fruit grower, he is passionate about fostering new talent entering the industry, protecting and safe-guarding the future of fruit growing in Hawkes Bay and promoting our exciting industry within the communities we live and work in.

Brydon Nisbet has a wealth of experience in the pipfruit sector. He currently sits as an Associate Director on the Horticulture New Zealand Board, Director on Rockit Apple Growers Trust, horticulture tutor at the Eastern Institute of Technology and runs his own family orchard business, Global Harvest.
Brydon brings a pragmatic ‘can-do’ attitude and genuine passion to serve the industry. He is passionate about supporting young individuals in the industry to grow and emerge as future leaders.

Congratulations to Chris Treneman, Protect Chair, who was also re-elected.
The Association welcomes Tom Dames and Shane Flynn onto the Executive Committee.
We look forward to the collective experience and industry knowledge our new and existing executive members will bring to the Association.

Thank you to our two retiring Executive Members Ben James and Lachlan McKay for their contribution to the Association during their tenure.
During Ben’s tenure as President, he initiated the strategic review which led to the rebuild of the HBFA website and the new digital communications strategy. This work has culminated in developing successful digital platforms that will be a great asset to the Association in the years ahead.

With the exception of Rule 5 b) ii)  Members must be approved by a majority of the members present at a General Meeting which will remain unchanged, the proposed changes to the membership structure will provide a platform from which employees, students and interested parties can better access and engage with the Association and the industry. In the coming weeks we will communicate to our members the process of transferring to the new membership.

The second rule change passed, referred to the disestablishment of the Sector Chairs.  Industry product sector groups – New Zealand Apples & Pears, Kiwifruit Growers Inc and Summerfruit New Zealand provide effective support and regulatory advice at a national level. The Association will continue to work closely with these sector organisations to represent the interests of growers at a regional level.

It was noted that labour supply will be a major challenge for growers in the foreseeable future. The Association will continue to support lobbying being undertaken by Horticulture New Zealand and New Zealand Apples & Pears. An  approach will be made to PickNZ  to ascertain if they can facilitate labour sharing of teams between growers at critical pinch points during the season.

There has been significant changes over the past 12 months to the way the Association operates, communicates, with the purpose to drive and inspire the next generation of emerging young horticulture talent.

We have a challenging year ahead and look forward to your continued support.

Next month, HBFA will hold its 121st Annual General meeting (AGM). There is an amazing history which has proceeded HBFA as we know it today.  Over the past 121 years, as the industry has sailed through fair shares of ups and downs,  HBFA has maintained its presence and voice on behalf of the growers and the local fruit growing industry.

During the past 12 months, the Executive Committee have undertaken a strategic review.  This review highlighted the need for the Association to adapt its business to better represent members and growers, if HBFA is to retain relevance in the Hawke’s Bay fruit growing community in years to come.

The Association has undergone a rebrand, the first significant change in 10 years, developed an online presence via social media platforms, developed a new website and has upgraded communication channels to reach a wider range of industry participants.

The current membership structure has been tweaked over time, but the subscription has remained unchanged for more than 18 years.  At next month’s AGM, we will be putting forward to members a new membership model and subscription structure.  The proposed rule changes, provide much greater scope for employees and interested groups (such as tertiary students and schools) to become involved with HBFA, whilst protecting the voting rights of Active Fruit Grower members.

The AGM is your opportunity to endorse what the Association is doing or to put ideas forward about what HBFA could be doing to better serve you. Even if you have never been before, we encourage you to come to the AGM at the brand new Toitoi Arts and Events Centre, Thursday 17th September from 7.30pm.  Refreshments will be available on closing of the AGM.  This is your opportunity to mingle with HBFA members and the Executive Committee who work tirelessly behind the scenes as advocates for our industry and the region.

After the unprecedented  start to 2020, we  believe that  now, more than ever,  emerging leaders will need  support to  develop their leadership  skills and confidence. Therefore, we plan to run the 2020 programme while keeping flexible as to how we deliver.  We  may be on-line or face-face , or a mix, depending  on where New Zealand is at the end of August through  to November (when we run the course). The application deadline has also been extended to 20 June.

The programme will focus on the fundamental aspects of leadership and will naturally take into account the “Covid” crisis context we have found ourselves during the first part of this year. The aim is to help prepare you or your employee address the challenges ahead  and successfully capture the opportunities that are arising.

 This programme will:


The programme is in three phases:

  1. Cohort 1 Wed 19 August to Sun 23 August 2020 or Cohort 2 Wed 2 September to Sun 6 September 2020 ( residential at Lincoln if face-to-face)
  2. Project; September to October 2020 (non-residential)
  3. Tues 3 November to Thurs 5 November 2020. Two cohorts combine (residential in Wellington if face-face ).


For more information visit HortNZ website


The Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers’ Association considers the health and safety of our members, employees, and sponsor’s to be our highest priority.

After careful consideration, and in light of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments, we have cancelled the 2020 Hawke’s Bay Young Fruitgrower of the Year. Rescheduling the event will enable us to provide the experience that our members, sponsor’s, and employees expect and deserve in a safe environment.

We remain excited to host you next year and will get back to you with more information on specific dates in the coming weeks.

We look forward to hosting you in 2021. Until then, stay safe and healthy.

Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers’ Association is offering an exciting opportunity for businesses to align themselves with a dynamic and progressive industry, as well as the opportunity to engage directing with emerging talent, industry leaders and stakeholders.

The Association organises three annual events – Hawke’s Bay Young Fruit Grower of the Year, Industry Awards Night and the renowned Fishing Competition. These events provide a platform from which sponsors can gain exposure to the region’s extensive horticulture community.

For the first time sponsors will have the opportunity to support all three events inclusive of one sponsorship package.  Four partnership tiers are available, ranging from $500 to $8,000+ and provide considerable partnership benefits.  All events are well-attended and supported by local media coverage.

In 2019, the Association reviewed its strategic framework.  An industry survey was undertaken as well as review of the marketing and communications strategy, membership and sponsorship framework. In January, the new branding was rolled out and social media platforms established.

Ben James, President of the Hawke’s Bay FruitGrowers’ Association, said the sponsors provide more than financial support to the Association. “Our partners help raise awareness of what we do – to protect, foster and promote horticulture in Hawkes Bay. We believe in creating meaningful relationships – our sponsors are part of an extraordinary team of local businesses and individuals who are passionate about horticulture”.

If your business is keen to  find out more, please contact:

Dianne Vesty, Executive Officer
027 2339900