Opotiki's Anstis crowned the Bay of Plenty Fruit Grower of year

Opotiki grower Chris Anstis has been crowned the Bay of Plenty Fruit Grower 2013 after beating off tough competition from five other finalists in Mount Maunganui.

The regional competition was held at Baypark Function Centre yesterday and was a day-long event requiring contestants to complete a series of tasks essential to running a fruit growing business.

Chris, 30, is the Technical Manager at Opotiki Packing and Coolstorage Ltd (OPAC), and won $1500 cash and a one-day media and presentation course in Wellington. He will also receive an all-expenses paid trip to attend the Horticulture New Zealand Conference in Wellington in July.

Chris was also the Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower 2009. He says the competition was a rewarding experience, but it wasn't without challenges.

"The competition really made me work hard and put all my skills to the test, which made winning the title even better. The other contestants didn't make it easy though, they are all great growers and there is definitely a lot of talent out there," says Chris.

Second place went to Chris Clement, 27, from Tauranga and Miguel Peterle, 30, from Waikato placed third.

Chris will go on to compete for the national Young Grower of the Year title at the Horticulture New Zealand Conference in Wellington, July.

"I'm really looking forward to competing at the national competition in Wellington later this year. Based on my 2009 experience, it is always great getting to meet the other young growers performing at that level," says Chris.

The regional Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower competition was kindly sponsored by Farmlands and Zespri Kiwifruit.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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