Last month some of our executive committee met to review HBFA’s strategic goals and discuss how we would achieve those goals. We were fortunate to have Mike Chapman join us for a few hours to help facilitate discussion and provide some valuable advice. Although more in-depth strategic reviews have been carried out in recent years, this quick ‘health check’ was particularly valuable and timely given the speed and frequency at which changes are being thrust upon our industry and the primary sector. One of the key messages I took away form this session was the need for our exec committee to work ‘smarter, not harder’. The reality is, we are a group of passionate volunteers that want to make a difference but, like many others we have multiple commitments to juggle including orchard work, off-orchard jobs and in many cases, young families. Part of working smarter will include a greater focus on growing or maintaining effective relationships with key stakeholders including local government officials, industry bodies including HortNZ and our product groups. Whilst our capacity to influence outcomes alone is limited, working alongside these larger organisations in a proactive and collaborative manner offers the best chance of our voice (the independent voice of Hawke’s Bay fruit growers) being heard by decision makers.
If you are actively engaged in the fruit growing industry (or a passionate vegetable or berry grower!) that would like to make a positive difference I encourage you to come along to our executive committee meetings and participate. Any member (or potential member) is welcome to attend these meetings to share views, make requests or simply receive an update or current projects/activities. Up to half an hour will be made available at the front end of exec meeting for any members that wish to attend, if you are a larger group or have specific items you wish to discuss please email firstname.lastname@example.org prior to meeting to ensure we have sufficient seating and can make any necessary preparations.
We have also started sending regular invitations to key stakeholders and representatives requesting verbal updates on key issues to ensure we are well informed and when possible, contributing to important work that others are doing. In the meantime, we will continue to develop and grow our events with a strong emphasis on attracting and nurturing young talent, building leadership capability at the local level and recognising achievers.
Nga mihi nui