April 2022 update

By Jen Scoular

NZ Avocado Growers Association recently held its 40th Annual General Meeting. This AGM covered the 2020-2021 season and was deferred from August 2021 due to Covid. After an online AGM in 2020, the 2021 AGM was delivered as a hybrid event, well attended both online and in-person. Over the course of the past two years, one of the greatest learnings from the pandemic is the need to be adaptable.

Throughout the AGM, we presented two grower awards in recognition of significant service to the industry. Ian Broadhurst and Roger Barber, both from Northland, have dedicated almost eighty years between them to the avocado industry.

Having been in the industry for more than 36 years, Ian Broadhurst has a reputation for always making time for others. Currently the General Manager of several large Northland orchards (Mapua, Largus and Tiri), Ian and his wife Bernadette have successfully developed their own 15 hectare orchard. One block reached an impressive 39 tonnes per hectare, which won them the award for highest yield and most consistent production.

During his time managing King Avocado from 2007 – 2017, Ian travelled to Chile and invested significant time into high density planting challenges. This informed his approach to high density orchards in New Zealand and enabled him to transfer that knowledge, benefitting numerous orchards in the far north. Ian has consistently demonstrated innovation in large scale plantings.

In addition to his passion for the industry, Ian is also renowned for his commitment and support of his local community. This has included establishing training and employment opportunities with local orchards for youth and unemployed people. Ian also instigated a bus service for local mothers, removing transport obstacles and enabling them with a chance to learn about the avocado industry.

For over 40 years, Roger Barber has made a significant scientific contribution to the industry, as a science representative on the NZAGA board, bringing scientific oversight and critique, a valuable and necessary perspective to the avocado industry.

His service has included roles on the Avocado Industry Council and NZ Avocado Growers Association, including 10 years as Vice Chair. Following a career as a scientist and advisor with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Roger has also served on numerous committees related to research and development.

Throughout his time in the industry, Roger travelled to South Africa to identify new cultivars that would suit the New Zealand environment, including new clonal rootstocks. As a grower representative for 18 years, Roger provided technical advice and governance guidance while being an active member of the cultivator and research community.

We thank both Roger and Ian for giving their all, and for passing on their knowledge to the next generation, leaving this industry in a better place.


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