Plant & Food Research has announced it is a Gold sponsor of the prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy, Excellence in Māori Horticulture Award 2020. This year marks the first time since its establishment in 1933 that the competition has celebrated outstanding Māori in the horticultural industry.
David Hughes, chief executive of Plant & Food Research, said the competition for decades has alternated between dairy and sheep & beef farming each year.
“We appreciate this timely recognition of Māori contribution to horticulture,” he said.
“We’re particularly delighted to support this event and be part of its legacy because we believe good practices in horticulture are fundamental for us and te hapori whānui to build a smart green future together.”
Stacey Whitiora, Group GM Māori at Plant & Food Research. said the institute is working towards becoming a meaningful and trusted partner of Māori.
“We’re about promoting prosperity with Māori through weaving Mātauranga Māori and science. It is a privilege for us to sponsor this event.
“We hope by being present ‒ ‘he kanohi kitea (a face that is seen)’ ‒ we can engage with Māori growers and Māori entities with an interest in horticulture to increase our understanding of what we can offer to support them and how we can grow together.”
Cath Kingston, Operations Manager, Tree Crops, at Plant & Food Research, and Ian Scott, Māori Relationship Manager, will be judges during the competition.
Three finalists will be announced at Parliament on 21 February.
All finalists will receive cash and farm-related prizes up to $30,000.
Final judging will take place in March and April when three field days will be held at the orchard/vegetable garden of each finalist. The winner will be announced on 22 May at the Award dinner in Tauranga and receive a further cash and prize pool up to $70,000.
Source: Plant & Food Research