The kiwifruit industry welcomes more Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers for next season but must still work hard to attract the rest of the required workforce.
The kiwifruit Industry Advisory Council (IAC) set up the Hayward Medal four years ago to honour the people who have led the industry and established it as a New Zealand export success story, selling more than $1.57 billion of premium-quality Zespri Kiwifruit last year.
IAC chair Paul Jones says nominations are encouraged for people right across the industry who have shown excellence, commitment and leadership.
“Our industry is set for strong growth and on track to double export revenue by 2020. We simply wouldn’t be in this position today without world-class people and the Fresh Carriers Hayward Medal has been set up to acknowledge and celebrate our great people.
“We’re once again calling on our colleagues to nominate the people they think have made a defining contribution to the industry success we see today,” says Jones.
Takao Takeshige, president of award-sponsor Fresh Carriers says when the shipping company started carrying New Zealand kiwifruit to Japan about 30 years ago, not many people could have expected the industry to be as successful as it is today.
“This success and the continuing growth is thanks to the great efforts of all the people working in the kiwifruit industry. We are very honoured to present the Fresh Carriers Hayward Medal to the winner and are looking forward to meeting them at the Hayward Medal Dinner,” says Takeshige-san.
Over the past three years, the medal has been awarded to people who made outstanding contributions to the kiwifruit industry in very different ways, through science, leadership and personal vision and drive.
Last year, growers Paul Heywood and Leo Mangos were jointly awarded the medal for their work in establishing the grower-owned structure of the industry. The ex-chair of the New Zealand Kiwifruit Marketing Board, John Palmer was awarded the Medal in 2013 for his tireless efforts to bring the kiwifruit industry through the fiscal crisis in the early 1990s.
The inaugural award went to Plant & Food Research plant breeder, Russell Lowe for developing and helping commercialise the gold kiwifruit variety Hort16A, adding over $3 billion to the industry and New Zealand.
The medal is named after the green Hayward cultivar, which remains the foundation of kiwifruit industry, and acknowledges the talented horticulturalist Hayward Wright, whose innovation and contribution set up the industry, as we know it today.
Nominations close on Friday 18 September and nominations for the pan-industry award are encouraged from right across the industry.
The winner will be announced and presented with the award at the Hayward Medal Dinner, which follows the Kiwifruit Industry Symposium on Thursday 29 October.