Chief Executive – June update

Posted By HBFA | June 19, 2024

Explore, Grow & Thrive – It’s June already!

My grandfather used to say, things come in threes, and indeed the past few months have brought a trio of significant events for HBFA. As CEO, I frequently ponder what’s next, focusing on future possibilities and how to excel our industry. The challenges we face aren’t insurmountable; rather, we confront a persistent economic malaise with high inflation. Despite this, a promising future lies ahead. We navigate these changes with unwavering commitment, always looking forward to the bright prospects that lie ahead for Aotearoa.

Grow – HBFA Hawkes Bay Young Fruit Grower winner, Strategy session & Grower needs!

YFGOTY Winner: Grace Fulford Triumphs at Hawke’s Bay Young Grower of the Year!

We are thrilled to announce that Grace Fulford, T&G’s Quality and Compliance Manager, has won the Hawke’s Bay Young Grower of the Year award. Competing against seven other talented contestants, Grace’s dedication and expertise shone through, securing her the top spot. This marks the fifth consecutive year a T&G entrant has claimed this prestigious title. The runners-up were Leander Archer from Sunfruit and Jesse Wall from Mr Apple, securing second and third places respectively.

The two-day event tested contestants on a variety of industry-specific challenges, including machinery operation, irrigation, health and safety, orchard management, and public speaking. Grace impressed both judges and peers with her technical skills and confident presentations. Reflecting on her win, Grace said, “I’m stoked, absolutely thrilled. Growing up in horticulture on my family’s orchards, I’ve learned so much from my uncles and dad. This win is a culmination of those experiences.”

The event, now in its 19th year, is one of six regional competitions leading up to the National Young Grower of the Year finals in October. The national winner will then compete for the Young Horticulturist of the Year, organized by the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture Education Trust. Brydon Nisbet, President of Hawke’s Bay Fruit Growers, praised all contestants for their courage and determination, highlighting the promising future of the industry. He emphasized that the young growers’ resilience and leadership ensure a prosperous future for horticulture in the region.

A Special Thank You to Our Sponsors

We extend our thanks and gratitude to our generous sponsors whose support was crucial in making the event a success. Your contributions provided a platform for young horticulturists to showcase their skills and gain invaluable experience, fostering the growth of future industry leaders. Stay tuned to our social media channels for highlights from the competition over the coming weeks! Thank you once again for your support.

HBFA strategy session:

Recently, the HBFA team engaged in a two-day strategy session to refresh our focus and drive. Guided by Clare Reid Coaching and using the Emotional Culture Deck, we identified key emotions driving HBFA’s actions and underscored the importance of emotional awareness in fostering vulnerability, empathy, and deeper connections. For HBFA’s success, it is essential that the board and team feel connected, supported, open-minded, energized, and proud. Equally, our growers need to feel connected, proud, and involved. We identified key touchpoints in our grower journey, which include marketing/social media, our website, membership, emails/newsletters, one-on-one interactions, text updates, events, the Young Fruit Grower program, awareness through horticulture organizations, engagement surveys, and the AGM. These touchpoints emphasize the importance of connection, pride, and involvement for our growers.

Recently, HBFA organized a meeting at Twyford Hall on May 13th to discuss the increasing Hawkes Bay Regional rates. The meeting was attended by fruit growers, vegetable growers, wine growers, horticulturists, and other interested parties. Councillors who attended the meeting explained the proposed changes, which include a shift from a Land value to Capital value rating model. This shift would result in increased rates, despite 90% of ratepayers opposing the change. Additionally, there is a planned 19.6% rate increase, with the average rise on the Heretaunga Plains expected to be 40%. Some growers may face over 100% increases, which could significantly impact their financial situations. HBFA also submitted and addressed the council on these increases at the HBRC submission hearing in Napier on Wednesday the 29th of May. HBFA are partnering with NZAPI and HortNZ on Water (TANK) updates to come, so please watch this space!

Thrive – Cyclone Gabrielle 1 year, 4 months, 5 days on – HAG gets all Ai on it!

HAG (Horticulture Advisory Group) recently utilized the grower data obtained from the portal to create collaborative set of keywords (as indicated above) to provide an illustrative depiction of the challenges encountered by growers. Furthermore, we leveraged the data from the portal to generate an AI-portal data driven image that visually represents these issues (see above image). This shows the impact the cyclone had on growers using the portal.

Expanding on our brand awareness and digital initiatives:

Our commitment to enhancing the HBFA’s brand awareness and digital presence is part of a broader strategy to engage more deeply with our community and stakeholders. The website revamp is not just about aesthetics; it’s designed to provide a user-friendly platform where information is readily accessible, and communication with us is seamless. Our social media campaign will highlight the vital work of our growers, upcoming events, and initiatives that support the sustainable growth of our industry. These digital efforts complement our ongoing activities to advocate for and protect the interests of our growers, ensuring that the Hawke’s Bay region remains at the forefront of New Zealand’s fruit-growing sector. Opposite is a sneak peek of the new look.

Building Courage and Resilience in Children: Teaching children how to find their brave!

Join us for a night with Karen Young Thursday the 27th of June!

We are excited to announce an event sponsored by HAG, in partnership with HBFA, featuring the renowned speaker and consultant Karen Young. This special evening will take place on Thursday, the 27th of June, at 6.30pm and we are thrilled to have her here in Hawkes Bay for one night only!

We are offering our growers with children the opportunity to attend free of charge, with 50 tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis. Don’t miss this chance to gain invaluable insights and practical strategies to help your children thrive.

Karen Young is highly sought after for her work with schools, government bodies, and child and adolescent-focused organizations worldwide. During this event, she will share her expertise on cultivating courage and resilience in children. Her presentation will cover:

Please fill in the form below to reserve your ticket. We will get in touch with you shortly to confirm your attendance.

Event Details:

Date: Thursday the 27th of June

Time: 6.30pm till 9.00pm

Venue: Toi Toi events and arts centre – The Assembly Ballroom

Click here to register today limited seats available!

Mental Health and Resilience: A Cornerstone of Our Community Support

Recognizing the psychological impact of industry challenges, HBFA is committed to mental health and resilience. Confidential counselling sessions are available to our growers and their families, providing crucial support for managing stress and building resilience. Our dedication to mental health underscores our belief that true community strength lies in collective well-being. As we move forward, HBFA remains focused on embracing change, upholding core values, and fostering a supportive, resilient community, ensuring Hawke’s Bay remains a vibrant leader in New Zealand’s fruit-growing industry.

Reach out for support:

If you or someone you know is struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact me, Callum Ross, at HBFA, or directly connect with Wanda Douglas at 021 1700 506 or wandspsychology@gmail.com. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, and we’re here to support each other.

Warm regards,

Callum Ross

Chief Executive Officer & Chairman HAG (Horticulture Advisory Group)

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