5160, 813, 5529, 3111, 5308, 237, 5708, 6067, 531, 1128, 5365, 1641, 3116, 702, 3143, 989, 245, 1305, 3074, 3078, 676, 4650, 5696, 1682, 5513, 122, 6343, 6057, 5970, 1326, 5913, 45, 52, 1068, 2373, 5410, 5834, 5794, 404, 844, 40, 6022, 5608, 5607, 4835, 5960, 5253, 6177, 5413, 5432, 6179, 5463, 5955, 1619, 5881, 5888, 6126, 5254, 5710, 487, 5100, 5885, 1396, 5357, 1259, 1687, 752, 6016, 6290, 1214, 2568, 3063, 395, 5850, 459, 946, 6312, 817, 666, 6130, 6026, 5922, 5407, 6132, 6008, 5199, 5447, 5805, 6189, 6220, 558, 5930, 5810, 6182, 6040, 5984, 5784, 5972



 Conference Programme

This year’s conference theme is NAVIGATING THE NOW

The future is here, and ensuring our vibrant industry thrives in a new world, a new global market, and in a changing climate means understanding, adapting and preparing for what we know is already our now. 

Monday 31 July

9.30am            Delegate registration  |  Morning Tea
10.00am               Annual General Meeting, New Zealand Apples & Pears Incorporated
Registration  |  Lunch


Welcome and Introduction  |   Conference MC: Sarah Perriam-Lamp

Sarah Perriam-Lampp is an award-winning journalist, podcast host, columnist, and owner of the creative communication agency, Perriam Media, which works with NZ’s leading agricultural science and agri-businesses.  Sarah is based in Tai Tapu, Canterbury and is a rural broadcaster with a decade of experience across TV, radio, podcast and print.

Platinum Sponsor Address



In this session we’ll explore consumer preferences, international market and IP trends, and the challenges we
face to compete globally on price.  Includes a panel discussion on achieving the balance between global food security and the need for sustainability.

Sponsored by:



Consumer preferences    
Tristan Kitchener, Kitchener Partners Pty Ltd

As the grocery retailing industry continues to navigate changing consumer behaviours and economic challenges, it is vital for retailers and producers to understand what consumers prioritize when selecting apples. By leveraging technology, embracing sustainable practices, emphasizing taste preferences, and promoting provenance and food safety, businesses can seize growth opportunities and meet the evolving needs of consumers. Tristan Kitchener's insights into grocery retailing and consumer trends will shed light on the future state of the industry and the potential for growth.




International markets / opportunities / trends -  insights around current market and trade trends.
Ian Proudfoot, Global Head of Agribusiness, KPMG New Zealand

The world we are currently living and working in presents us with many challenges but also many opportunities. Ian will share observations on trends we are observing in geopolitics, international markets and trade patterns (including how governments globally are seeking to enhance domestic food resilience), the shifts that have occurred in labour patterns and the increased costs of operations that are being faced throughout the supply chain. Drawing on insights Ian gathers from discussions and meetings with members of the KPMG Agri-food network and our clients around the world, he will offer suggestions on the steps we are observing organisations taking to navigate the now and set themselves up for future success.




PANEL DISCUSSION: Food security versus sustainability
Sustainability has been such a strong focus over the last few years, but current global challenges question whether we can continue to meet the food requirements of the growing population while still supplying sustainably.  Requirements offshore and demand from consumers and markets – is sustainability still such a focus?  Can we still produce economically and within sustainability aspirations?

  • Kurt Livingston, Export Sales Executive, Fern Ridge Fresh
  • Tristan Kitchener, Kitchener Partners Pty Ltd
  • Ian Proudfoot, Global Head of Agribusiness, KPMG New Zealand
  • Richard Pentreath, Regional Orchard Manager, Ngāi Tukairangi Orchards




Afternoon Tea



In this session we explore what’s achievable with industry data collaboration and learn how to assess a business to develop and implement a digital strategy.


How can data help optimise the horticulture industry?
Chris Mendes, Chief Technology Officer, The Yield

  • What advantages can data bring to Horticulture?
    • Better use of resources on the ground
    • Better and earlier prediction of harvest
    • Ultimately these can interact to increase productivity
    • Use cases: Apples, Kiwi, Wine
  • What do we need to make all this work? 
  • What are the current challenges and how are we overcoming them?  
  • How will robotics help in this transformation?

The horticultural sector has much to gain from harnessing digital technology, faced as it is with the need to produce more from less in a world increasingly challenged by the impacts of the climate crisis. Chris Mendes will share his successes using data, machine learning, and AI to transform food production systems, making them more effective, efficient and, ultimately, profitable.




The Fundamentals of 'Going Digital'.
Grant Rae, Director, iuxta Advisory Ltd

A digital and data roadmap (or strategy) is critical for you to understand the steps and milestones for your digital journey. This presentation will provide a brief overview of how to develop an appropriate roadmap for you. It will cover:

  • How to assess where you are today, and establish your goals to achieve over the next 2–3 years
  • Tools and techniques on how to build a roadmap to reach your goals
  • Guiding principles and milestones to ensure a successful journey
  • Examples of roadmaps for the horticulture sector




NZAPI Digital Strategy
Rachel Kilmister, R & D Manager, NZ Apples & Pears Inc

NZAPI play a role for industry, storing, collating, and presenting data in a way that adds value for its members. The NZAPI team have been developing a vision and roadmap for how the organisation can get the best value out of this data for industry. Rachel will present an overview of NZAPI’s digital strategy and some examples of how industry data is and can be used.






Digital Maps and Tools
Greg Stevenson, Software Business Manager, Landkind

Discover how digital maps and tools are reshaping the horticulture industry. This presentation explores their applications in biosecurity, market access, decision-making, and other relevant areas.



End day one conference  



Conference Dinner and Awards 
Christ's College, Rolleston Avenue
Sponsored by ADAMA NZ and Grochem                   







Welcome: Hon. Damien O’Connor, Minister of Agriculture

Sponsor address: Grochem

Presentation of the NZ Apples & Pears Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Industry

Dinner concludes





Tuesday 1 August


Welcome back to day two



In this session we hear from our people - what attracts them, and how to grow them into tomorrow's leaders - and explore the role and future of the Working Holiday Scheme in our industry.


PANEL DISCUSSION: How do we attract a variety of people into horticulture roles, and how do we keep them?

  • Experience Matters: When attracting and retaining the best people.
    Rosa Scott, Talent & Engagement Manager, Mr Apple.
  • ‘If I can do it, so can our future wāhine and tane!’ 
    Ahuwhenua Trophy Young Māori Grower 2023, Grace Rehu (Leading Hand, T&G Global), will talk about her experience in the sector so far, connection to whenua, and what she values going forward.
  • NZ Seasonal Work Scheme
    CAJ Apples would not have had sufficient workforce last year if they didn’t have the support of MSD and the NZ Seasonal Work Scheme.  And 50% of those on the scheme have returned this year! Jackie will explain why and how CAJ Apples accessed the scheme and Tracey Harrison will outline how other organisations could benefit from doing the same.
    Jackie van der Voort, Post Harvest Manager, CAJ Apples and Tracey Harrison, Regional Labour Market Advisor (Southern), MSD.



Working Holiday Stats: Uncovering 5 Surprising Trends Impacting Your Seasonal Hiring   
Genevieve Griffin-George, Founder, PICMI

For the last year, PICMI has published a monthly analysis of MBIE’s Working Holiday Visa (WHV) statistics to give growers across New Zealand better visibility into a crucial segment of the workforce. They’ve been surprised by declining trends from peaks in 2015, and pleasantly surprised at some bounce-back trends post-Covid. Against the backdrop of WHVs issued by nationality and data gaps, Genevieve will outline some insights for making informed decisions when it comes to seasonal hiring, and how to stay ahead in the ever-evolving horticulture landscape.




PANEL DISCUSSION: How do we engage with government to ensure the future of our horticulture workforce?
New Zealand’s workforce landscape has changed. COVID has seen Working Holiday Scheme numbers drop significantly, unemployment is sitting at an all-time low, and the RSE scheme continues to face countless challenges.  This panel will explore how industry and members can engage with Government to ensure the future of our workforce.

    • Kris Faafoi, former Cabinet Minister and Member of Parliament, Director, AGENDA Partners
    • Adrienne Sharp, Head of Corporate Affairs, T&G Global
    • Nadine Tunley, Chief Executive, Horticulture NZ




Morning Tea  



As the unexpected becomes the norm, climates change, and biosecurity risk increases, how do we as an industry plan, pivot, and grow back better?  We will discuss business resilience strategies and hear grower experiences.

Sponsored by:


Mitigating Offshore Biosecurity Risks and Threats   
Madeline Marshall, Biosecurity Intelligence Analyst and Abigail Durrant, Senior Adviser - Plant Pests and Emerging Risk Assessment, MPI

Global changes to biosecurity occasionally have the potential to impact Aotearoa New Zealand. In order to mitigate these impacts, the Ministry for Primary Industries employs multiple teams to monitor offshore changes that may affect the risk or threat of invasive species to Aotearoa New Zealand. Two of these teams are the Emerging Risk Systems and the Biosecurity Intelligence Team. This presentation will discuss how these teams work to protect Aotearoa New Zealand from offshore biosecurity risks and threats.


How do we grow back better?
Chris Kerr, Policy Director, Strategy & Insights, Policy and Trade Branch, Ministry for Primary Industries

Chris will explore how the sector can maximise opportunities as it responds to recent headwinds, drawing on what he and his team have learned from cyclone response and recovery, the development of Rautaki mo te Taurikura (MPI’s plan to back the Māori primary sector’s growth), MPI’s first long-term insights briefing, primary sector workforce data, and how New Zealanders invest in, and use, science and technology.




Financial/Insurance/Risk Management
Andrew Cliffe, ANZ Regional Manager, Business and Agri, Canterbury & West Coast
A few key suggestions/tools that a business could implement (with financial and insurance considerations) for business resilience in the current unknown climate.



PANEL DISCUSSION: Lessons learnt and where to from here?

  • Evan Heywood, Managing Director, Heywood Orchards.  
    Having survived Cyclone Gita in 2018 and the Boxing Day hail event in 2020, Evan will provide perspective on what worked, what didn’t, and what they’d do differently as a result.
  • Tony Martin, CEO, Prevar
    Tony will offer his thoughts on how Prevar fits into the recovery of the sector post-cyclone and ‘growing back better’. Plus where he sees the role of PVRs and market access growth strategies as the wider sector experiences other challenges, such as costs of production.
  • Jono Wiltshire, Sales & Marketing Consultant, Mt Erin Group
    Jono has been a key industry participant for the last 32 years, with vast experience from growing, packing, and exporting, to governance level as a director on the Pipfruit NZ board. Having seen his share of industry challenges, Jono will share his experience on how industry has met and overcome these over the years, and what the next decade could look like.




NZAPI Conference concludes  |  Lunch  

Whilst all care has been taken in preparing the programme and schedule of speakers, these may be subject to change without notice.







Welcome back to Day 2





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