Many growers will be breathing a sigh of relief and hopefully taking some well- deserved time off with harvest now behind them. Some will have started, or be completing a review of the season and forecasting financial results. With some luck, the bottom line in our budgets will be sufficient to meet operating costs and take on the challenge of growing more premium quality fruit for New Zealand and the world.
Many industries have had to battle their way through the global Covid pandemic with unprecedented disruptions to normal business. Our industry has faced its’ fair share of headwinds this season including a labour crisis, massively constrained global shipping, significant increases in operating costs and even extreme hail and weather events to top it off. But despite these adversities, most (I hope all) will soon be planning and preparing for another season, reviewing strategies to face whatever challenges are likely to come. But before this happens, please remember to take a break, recharge the batteries and spend quality time re-connecting with friends and family.
I would like to acknowledge the passing of John Wilton earlier this month. John made a huge contribution to our industry. I was fortunate to have worked alongside John and like many, will miss his razor sharp wit and relentless pursuit of improved fruit production systems.
As an industry it is more important than ever that we work together and support one another to achieve our common objectives. We may have different political views, different ideas about who should do what and different solutions to the challenges we face, but as an industry we are undoubtedly stronger if we work together. As your regional association, HBFA exists to support our members and the fruit growing industry of Hawkes Bay, so please continue to share your views and suggestions with our Executive Committee. I look forward to seeing you at the National Horticulture Field Days and Young Fruit Grower of the Year Competition and Awards Dinner on the 3 and 4 June.