Presidents Report, June

Posted By Jo Pentreath | June 14, 2020

Welcome back to level one!

What an awesome feat, that we, as a team of 5 million have achieved. We have the worlds attention once again for being good at what we do, a view that we are a very determined nation with a great community spirit and tautoko.

This has some real advantages when it comes to food exports. Whilst some of the countries we export to are experiencing a somewhat sluggish economy due to Covid-19, the demand for New Zealand fruit, particularly kiwifruit, in countries such as Europe, are hitting records sale volumes. Healthy, nutritious, clean Covid-19 free food from New Zealand is in demand globally. It is on us to sell this and to continue to strengthen our position as a global leader in fresh produce.

Quality of Hawke’s Bay export fruit across the board was exceptional this year. With harvest now complete and very little moisture replacement, the need to look after our precious biological assets is very important if we aim to maintain this quality product and increase volume.

NZAPI are working closely with the government and agencies to navigate through the current RSE repatriation programme and looking for ways to get these people back home to their families. Some great initiatives are on the way to help increase the rate of return. Further discussions are being held around the stand down period (currently 5 months).

Some big changes for the region are coming. Submissions to the TANK Plan Change have now been extended 6 weeks, with the closing date Friday 14 August 2020. Be sure to have your say and follow this space, as it will affect your horticultural operations and require our extraordinary ability to adapt and succeed.

Further pressure is coming from the HBRC to ban outdoor burning all together. We, along with NZAPI and industry stakeholders are working in this space to ensure growers are heard and represented fairly. Air quality is every property’s responsibility to maintain and every property’s right to enjoy. If you are a property owner that burns materials you should not- such as plastic, tanalized timber and sopping wet wood, then we fully support the HBRC in their actions.

In this ever-changing world full of disruption and change, we as your Association need to adapt also. Over the past 12 months, we have made significant changes to the Association – changes in the way we operate and how we communicate, driving and inspiring the next generation of emerging young horticulture talent using HBFA social media platforms and communication tools to achieve this. We have real enthusiasm from the team to drive the Association into the next decade and beyond. I would like to thank the executive committee, the Executive Officer and Marketing Infusion for all the hard work they have put in. This has been no small feat and is still not 100% finished but we are nearly there. Thank you, team. YOU ROCK.

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