2019: The year in review from PNZ CEO Chris Claridge

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Welcome to the end of the year, albeit the busiest time of year for those on the farm.

2019 has flown by, packed with challenges and some great results along the way, including:

  • Field Walks 2019 in Pukekohe, Manawatu and Canterbury packed with R&D updates and biosecurity advice
  • International experts visited in Autumn and spoke in 3 growing regions on topics such as PMTV & Liberibacter
  • The PMTV joint response was closed out in August and PNZ have completed the nationwide survey. The on-going management plan involves monitoring seed
  • PNZ Emissions Taskforce (PNZ-79) was launched in September with multiple workstreams. Currently underway we have soil moisture probes in the ground at PFR and 4 regional sites, measuring of soil nutrients. GPS mapping of seed paddocks is underway in the new PNZ database
  • Research & Development have 18 projects in progress & 5 completed (another 2 to be completed by the end of the financial year)
  • The biennial PNZ Conference was a resounding success, with both International & Domestic experts informing 152 delegates
  • The annual Agronomists Forum attracted 120 attendees, more than ever and with positive feedback on both the content and format
  • The Chip Group Industry Awards doubled the public engagement with nearly 8000 votes cast, highlighting NZ’s love of hot chips
  • Nationwide meetings were held with Ministry for Environment on the Freshwater Policy
  • Multiple submissions were made by PNZ and growers on National Policy statements and Regional Plan Changes
  • November Means New Potatoes 2019 event had increased engagement and fantastic feedback from media, food writers and growers in attendance, at a time when good grower stories are needed more than ever
  • The PNZ membership database is now streamlining many internal processes and reports.

We’d like to acknowledge the consistently hard work of the growers, processors and everyone working in the New Zealand potato industry.

We end the year in a strong position with an industry worth over $1 billion and an export market that has increased 20% in the last 12 months. We are now the 9th largest exporter of potato products in the world.