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Horticulture Sector Support

Supporting our HB growers.

October saw 130 Hawke’s Bay growers most affected by the Cyclone, invited to attend a one-off event at Tumu Timbers, Hastings. The ‘Hort Day’ brought growers together to connect with each other,  with industry experts,  wellbeing providers, and valuable business support services – a chance to get together over a bite to eat and drink, a day of goodwill and support for our vital Horticulture sector.

The Evergreen Foundation’s focus for our Cyclone Relief Fund is to ‘provide support to rural communities enduring hardship’ – this event is the most significant one–off initiative to demonstrate this.

Each grower was able to take away a fruit bin ‘Goody Bag’ full of practical items, orchard tools and equipment and some feel good items to help offer a pick me up to this hard-hit sector. Each bin is worth $4,000, and with funding from The Evergreen Foundation and our generous suppliers.

NZ Apple & Pear Incorporated and New Zealand Fruitgrowers Association were instrumental in directing Evergreen on the grower guestlist, as their data and knowledge with enable us to identify those growers most in need across all Horticulture sectors – apples, grapes, stonefruit, kiwifruit and vegetables. 

The Hort Day hits the road in December with a second event taking place in Gisborne/Tairawhiti for growers in that hard-hit region.

Cleaning Up The Fruit Bins

Many orchardists in Hawke’s Bay were hit hard by Cyclone Gabrielle. Tens of thousands of apple bins were caught in flood waters, covered in silt and scattered across the landscape.

Evergreen allocated an initial $100,000 to a bin sanitisation programme which includes receiving bins from growers, cleaning them to standard, and returning them back to the orchard for our next harvest.

Ensuring the crops meet regulatory standards for both New Zealand and overseas is paramount, and it’s not possible to produce new bins in time, nor was it cost effective.

We also received support from the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to assist the programme, which has enabled the industry to keep people employed during the recovery phase.

The project is on track to deliver back 31,000 clean bins to orchards by the beginning of December. We have a dedicated team of 6 people working 45 hours a week to make this happen in time for the upcoming harvest season.

Growers' Conference

Evergreen supported 40 local growers to attend the annual New Zealand Apple and Pears conference in Christchurch in July. We allocated $80,000 to ensure that those most affected had the opportunity to connect with their peers.

After such a difficult time for our local growers this initiative was a great opportunity for growers to network, and feel part of the broader industry.