Gemma Carroll, Communications and Engagement Officer at Potatoes New Zealand (PNZ), reports that the recent PNZ Biennial Conference was “a rich and thought-provoking gathering”, 5-6 months in the making.
“It was two days covering all things R&D at our Agronomists Forum, brilliant minds, experts in their fields as keynotes at our Plenary Sessions and a celebration of paddock to plate at our dinner and awards nights. Christchurch put on her best mid-Winter sunshine, with luminescent snowy Alps as our backdrop,” Gemma says. “Around 150 people had a fantastic gathering and we felt proud to have enabled the coming together of industry from across the country, to celebrate their work.”
The Agronomists Forum successfully trialed a new format this year, which involved dividing into concurrent sessions, with around 30 people in each group and an hour to discuss a specific project or topic.
The CEO of PNZ Chris Claridge took the opportunity on the second day of the meeting to launch PNZ’s latest project, The Nutrient Emissions Project, which it is hoped will maintain industryâ€™s social license to grow potatoes.
This on the day that the government was announcing new plans to protect prime food-growing land, amid growing concern about the impact of urban sprawl and meanwhile Environment Canterbury was launching proposed new regional plan changes which will restrict grower and farm activities on Canterbury land, in relation to Nitrates.