Thursday, 30 May 2024 07:55

Over 1000 exhibitors lined up

Written by  Mark Daniel
Businesses will get the chance to show some new products or ideas, reinforce the message about existing offerings or systems and if the cheque book is open, close a few deals. Businesses will get the chance to show some new products or ideas, reinforce the message about existing offerings or systems and if the cheque book is open, close a few deals.

With the 56th running of the National Fieldays only a fortnight away, the Mystery Creek Event Centre is morphing into a large village, where more than a thousand exhibitors will set up shop from the 12th to 15th June.

Given the testing times faced by the New Zealand economy, Fieldays chief executive Peter Nation is optimistic but also realistic when he comments, "I don't think it will be a record year for sales" while also noting that while several companies have dropped out of this year's event, the vehicle and farm machinery areas are full, with several product launches scheduled.

As part of the event, often labelled a schowcase for NZ agriculture, once again a major emphasis is placed on getting away from the farm for one or more days, meeting friends and swapping a few stories. Businesses of course will get the chance to show some new products or ideas, reinforce the message about existing offerings or systems and, if the cheque book is open, close a few deals.

The international flavour of the event is also important and confirmed by pre-approved visa for a number of trade delegations, with Nation noting that between those visiting delegates and overseas-based manufactures, around 45 countries will be represented.

Maintaining the focus on individual and industry wellbeing, the Fieldays Health and Wellbeing Hub will be complemented with the new Advocacy Hub, a project three years in the making, in collaboration with Federated Farmers. The Hub will bring together under one roof, multiple rural organisations who are advocating for farmers and their interests, like Federated Farmers, NZ Young Farmers, Groundswell, The Rural Women's Network and Future Farmers to name a few.

Peter Nation 5 FBTW

Fieldays chief executive Peter Nation says given the country's economic situation, 2024 won't be a record year for sales.

"It's great to be able to deliver a Fieldays purpose of advancing agriculture through education and collaboration," says Nation.

"We know it's tough out there this year, so it's never been more important for farmers to be heard and to have advocates that will amplify their voice."

Alongside the new exhibit, existing Hubs cover Careers and Education, Forestry, Digital Futures and Sustainability, while the Innovation Centre brings together the clever minds of academia and the practically of farmers.

This year's Innovation Awards will see 64 entrants fighting over a prize pool of more than $70,000, split over three categories.

These include 27 entrants in the Prototype Category, 21 trying to take the Early-Stage Award and 16 vying for the Growth and Scale Prize. Meanwhile five entries wll be aiming to walk away with the Young Innovator of the Year Award, open to participants 19 years old or under.

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