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Zespri Chair awarded horticulture’s Bledisloe Cup

Peter McBride and his wife Linda McBride with the Bledisloe Cup. Image courtesy of Horticulture NZ

An outstanding leader in the kiwifruit industry, Peter McBride, accepted horticulture’s premier award, the Bledisloe Cup, at the Horticulture Conference 2018 on Tuesday, 24 July 2018.

Very similar to the famous rugby Bledisloe Cup, horticulture’s version was one of three cups Lord Bledisloe presented to New Zealand in 1931.

The Cup was presented at an awards dinner by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor to Mr McBride, whose involvement with the kiwifruit industry spans 40 years.

“The Bledisloe Cup celebrates a person who has made an outstanding and meritorious contribution to the New Zealand horticulture industry, and Peter McBride certainly epitomises that,” Horticulture New Zealand President Julian Raine says.

“In 1978, Peter was first exposed to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry through his family’s orchard in Te Puke, in the Bay of Plenty. He went on to purchase his first kiwifruit orchard in 1989, and today he has responsibility for several large farming companies and heads one of New Zealand’s key horticulture companies, as the Chairman of Zespri Board.

“He has fought hard for horticulture and is a key interface between growers, industry and the Government. He is focused on innovation and also represents Zespri International as a Director on the New Zealand International Business Forum, and as a member of the New Zealand-China Council.”

Along with his work for the kiwifruit industry, Peter McBride has had an equally long history of service to charitable organisations. He was a former director of Longview Charitable Trust Board (Dairy) in the Waikato and was also a Director of Centrefarm Aboriginal Horticulture.

For the first time Horticulture New Zealand presented an Environmental Award, with the winner James Trevelyan from Te Puke, in the Bay of Plenty.

“On considering the nominees for this award, the Horticulture New Zealand Board was heartened by the vast amount of environmental work underway and the focus growers have on sustainability,” Mr Raine says.

“James Trevelyan proudly and publicly supports the environment while providing tasty, healthy, nutritious fruit to the world. In 2017, his family-owned company produced a report, Our Journey Toward a Sustainable Future, that states sustainability is a journey that requires ongoing development, innovation, collaboration and commitment.

“James really walks the talk and you can see him talking passionately about caring for the environment in the Horticulture New Zealand video Healthy Food for All Forever.”

Other awards presented at the conference were:

  • President’s Trophy – Tim Egan, a grower and orchardist who has been heavily involved in the promotion of horticulture in the Gisborne region. He has been described as having a huge passion for anything to do with growing – this spans not only his work in orchards, but also with people and recruiting people into horticulture. He Chairs the Gisborne Labour Government Group and Tipu Advisory Board.
  • Industry Service Awards – Garry Elliott and Graham Martin. Garry Elliott has been involved in bringing new chemistry to the horticulture industry since his career began in 1964. He is one of the pioneers of the early years of herbicide applications on onions, changing the approach for New Zealand onion growers. Graham Martin is a stalwart of Canterbury horticulture. He organised the first Young Vegetable Grower of the year competition and awards dinner in 2007 and has continued to do so for most of the years since then. In 2014 he was presented with a Life Membership of Horticulture Canterbury.
  • Horticulture New Zealand Life Membership – Earnscy Weaver.

About the Horticulture Conference 2018

The Horticulture Conference 2018, held at the Air Force Museum, Wigram, Christchurch, from 23-25 July, is the conference of Horticulture New Zealand, New Zealand Apples & Pears, Vegetables New Zealand Inc., Process Vegetables New Zealand, and Tomatoes New Zealand Inc. In addition to conference sessions there are industry exhibitors showing the latest tools of the trade.

The Conference is being made possible with support from Platinum sponsor Countdown; Gold sponsors T&G Global, Plant & Food Research and United Fresh New Zealand Inc; Silver sponsor Jenkins Freshpac Systems; and Bronze sponsors Zespri, Cravo, MG Marketing, Adama, Rabobank, Fruit Logistica; Yarra New Zealand, Hill Laboratories, Crystal Payroll, Primary ITO, AsureQuality, and Chep.

Source: Horticulture NZ

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