June 2021

By Jen Scoular

Fieldays returned to Mystery Creek after a break last year and again offered a great opportunity to meet and greet, to see the latest agritech and machinery on offer, and with the recent electric car announcements, there was lots of interest in the cars on show.

KPMG present their annual summary of primary industry in New Zealand, highlighting the need for all of us to recognise the mental toll 16 months of covid has had on us. Excursions like Fieldays offer a really nice break from every day challenges, and all of us need to think about how we support each other recognising we all take on and cope with challenges in different ways. I had a challenge – I know gumboots are sort of de rigour for Fieldays, but can you wear red bands for a breakfast presentation? Our Prime Minister got teased in the media because she didn’t wear gumboots, and I admit I too decided that boots, but not gumboots were a good option. I did see Dan Matheson, Chief Executive of Zespri proudly wearing his red bands, perhaps next year I’ll be braver and wear my locally made Boonies.

There were no avocados at Fieldays but you might have seen new season avocados on retail shelves. Without a gap in supply, we have again seen more consistent pricing from one season to the next, and I very pleased to report we have received no reports of avocado theft. First estimates suggest a similar volume crop to last season from New Zealand, with a larger size profile which is good news.

Its tough reading that the crop in Western Australia apparently 233% higher than last year. Our exporters will be pro-actively working with customers in Asia, aiming to find markets for higher volumes of NZ avocados that might have previously found a home in Australia. Global freight issues have possibly intensified which is another challenge for our industry. What we know is that right across the value chain we need to focus on working effectively, and together, to support avocado growers.

 

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