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Celebrating a growing season like no other

Summerfruit NZ's registrations are open for their Growing Strong — Success in a Changing World conference to be held in Hawke's Bay on June 9 and 10.

The event will be held at various venues, including the War Memorial Centre in Napier, where trade exhibits will be on display and speaker presentations will be made.

The “Growing Strong” theme indicates an industry that has experienced tough times but has come through 2020-21 and is ready to reflect, build resilience and celebrate the end of a season like no other,” said Summerfruit NZ chief executive Kate Hellstrom.

Last year's conference was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

“Growers and other members of the summerfruit industry are looking forward to meeting with friends and colleagues they may not have seen for well over a year.

“This conference is a great opportunity to spend time off the orchard and to catch up with the latest trends and developments in the industry,” she said.

“Along with our platinum sponsor, MG Marketing, we have got some great companies sponsoring our conference and the trade displays are always well supported.

“Our speakers will challenge and inspire growers to adapt, collaborate and innovate to find success in a changing world.”

They include scientist Matt Whiting, from Washington State University, New Zealand's top trade negotiator Vangelis Vitalis from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, plus social media guru and business transformationist Tash McGill, from Sola Fida Consulting.

“Getting out and about the area on the ‘Kick the Dirt' tour will be a highlight with visits to a bumblebee breeding facility, a recently updated packhouse, and quality seasonal worker accommodation,” Hellstrom said.

The conference dinner will be another highlight with honours presented like the Mack Nicol Award for Excellence, special recognition awards, and life memberships bestowed, as well as an entertaining speaker.

Summerfruit NZ is the industry body that represents growers of apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, and plums, and advocates on their behalf to government on a broad range of issues.

“It also undertakes work in key areas including biosecurity, market access, research and development, and by growing relationships between growers, marketers, retailers and exporters.”