New Zealand’s arable industry is on the hunt for its ‘tall poppies’ – not to chop them down but to celebrate their achievements and to inspire others.
“We’re a sector that generates $800 million of sales a year, $260m of that in exports, and we’re determined to better highlight to fellow New Zealanders the role we play,” Federated Farmers Arable Industry Chairperson Colin Hurst said.
The innovators and heroes of New Zealand’s arable industry will be recognised at an event at Te Pai, Christchurch, on August 4. Nominations are open at www.arableawards.co.nz
Federated Farmers, the Foundation for Arable Research, United Wheatgrowers and the Grain & Seed Trade Association are working together to make the 2022 New Zealand Arable Awards a showcase of the sector’s people and products, recognising, celebrating and rewarding excellence.
“Our industry involves more than $2 billion in annual direct and indirect spending and 11,310 full-time equivalent jobs,” Colin said.
“Not only are we world leaders in seed production – 60% of the world’s radish seed, 50% of white clover seed and 40% of global carrot seed, for example – the maize, feed and grass seed we grow is crucial for the New Zealand dairy and meat producers who drive the lion’s share of our export receipts.”
Home-grown wheat for bread products assumes even more importance with supply chain disruption and the war in Ukaraine, and our thriving brewing industry soaks up our barley, Colin said.
The growing diversity and impact of the arable industry is reflected in the fact that the 2022 awards have been expanded to eight categories, Foundation for Arable Research CEO Alison Stewart said.
“As well as recognising top maize, cereal and seed growers and a standout agronomist, there are awards for Emerging Talent, Environment & Sustainability, Innovation and an ‘Arable Food Champion’ award open to both growers and those innovators who turn our seeds and grains into end products that consumers want to snap up.”
An overall winner will be chosen from the eight category winners.
“We’re building this event up to be a ‘must attend’ on the arable sector calendar,” Alison said. “It’s time the arable industry stood up and told the rest of New Zealand just how good we are!”