In the last month we have been able to learn more about Aotearoa’s Fruit and Vegetable sector by visiting different orchards and the Fieldays.

The visit started off with a presentation at WayBeyond (AgTech SaaS supplier) and a keynote at United Fresh’s birthday seminar. Both presentations revolved around the impact & opportunities of digital transformation on fresh produce. The journey continued with different farm visits, which kicked off with a visit to NZ’s only Driscolls farm. Later that day we visited two Apple orchards together with NZ Apples & Pears to discuss the technical developments in the Orchards of NZ, and the opportunity to collaborate on international education. The next day, we continued the study trip by visiting Zespri International in Mount Maunganui. Julie showed us the Kiwi orchard, and their testing operations on measuring data in the orchard. Next up, the Zespri team presented their technological and sustainable development. The day ended with a presentation by us on how we see the need for more social and system innovation, next to the applied technological innovations on the farm.

A few days later we visited the Fieldays, NZ’s biggest event of the year for farmers and growers. At the Fieldays, we attended AgTech New Zealand’s Lunch & Learn on Digital adoption. This showed the current challenges in technology adoption in horticulture and the need for further research in this area.

The different local crops and adopted technologies were very interesting and showed the development in NZ’s market. The visit provided us with some fresh insights, and showed how the other side of the world is tackling the challenges in the sector.