Talk to be given by Dr Nicolette Niemann, Scientist, Plant & Food Research, Havelock North
Admission: Gold coin donation
In January 2020 a group of representatives from the New Zealand horticultural industries, government, research and education went on an Executive International Horticultural Program (Exec IHIP) tour through The Netherlands and Belgium, ending at the Fruit Logistica trade fair in Berlin. The aim was to learn about the horticultural priorities on which Europe is focusing, and how different regions adapt to those requirements. Europe is focusing on the environment, cooperation and what the consumer wants. We quickly realised that New Zealand is a small player on the world stage, but that our produce is highly regarded and that we have to work hard to remain at the forefront of quality and innovation which gives us a leading edge in many markets. We discovered trends and policies that will change the way that we will grow and sell produce, and interact with the rest of the world. Many lively discussions took place during our travels, and Brexit along with COVID-19 were big features during the trip. The Exec IHIP tour is planned to become an annual event, to generate a pool of strategic thinkers in New Zealand to help us make the best decisions for our future in horticulture.
Dr Nicolette Niemann is a postharvest physiology scientist at The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited. Her research focuses on understanding and manipulating the chemical reactions that take place in produce after it has been harvested. Her passion is to minimise the losses of produce from farm to fork, with a speciality in the storage of fresh fruits. She has regular interactions with growers, packhouses and exporters in the Hawke’s Bay area and does research for service providers in the horticultural industry. Although a large part of her work focuses on apples, she has experience working on kiwifruit, summerfruit, tomatoes, onions and cut flowers.