Young New Zealanders should be considering a career in horticulture if they want variety, opportunities and a role in producing healthy food, says the Horticulture Capability Group promoting the industry at this year's Fieldays.

The Horticulture Capability Group (HCG) is a joint venture between New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated, New Zealand Apples & Pears, New Zealand Avocado, Vegetables New Zealand Incorporated, Hawke's Bay Fruit Growers Association and Horticulture New Zealand.

"The group's vision is for horticulture to be the career of first choice," says Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman.

"All the group partners are working together to attract the right people to horticulture and to retain them by supporting development of their careers."


"Horticulture should be an industry that everyone considers," says New Zealand Avocado chief executive officer Jen Scoular.

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"On any given day I get to strategise about avocados, meet passionate growers, experience amazing innovation and even wander onto an orchard to be at one with nature. Choosing to be involved in such a collaborative industry allows me to make a difference through growing fantastic natural food right here in New Zealand."

"Horticulture is experiencing significant value growth, now topping $8.8 billion in sales," says Vegetables New Zealand general manager John Seymour.

"Vegetable production, the third largest horticulture sector, is no exception, with a value of $1.8 billion. This substantial growth requires an ever increasing number of skilled people to grow and supply quality produce to meet increasing consumer demand from New Zealand and around the world."

"The kiwifruit industry is growing fast and opportunities available for training and careers are varied and exciting," says New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated chief executive officer Nikki Johnson.

"We want to let young people know how they can be part of our industry's future."

"As horticulture industry businesses have grown, so too have the opportunities for a range of sophisticated and rewarding careers," says New Zealand Apples & Pears chief executive Alan Pollard.


"Demand for skilled staff is increasing as the industry grows. We need to promote our world leading horticulture sector to the next generation, and work with education providers to ensure that those prospective staff have the skills that we will need over the next 10 to 15 years."

A career in horticulture can be rewarding, offers a career pathway, develops transferable skills across horticulture, provides access to interesting people and overseas travel, and the opportunity to one day own your own business.

The HCG stand will be celebrating and promoting horticulture with profiles of successful industry people on display, with young people working in the industry on the "future leader" pathway available to talk to people looking for career options.

- Visit the HCG stand in the Mystery Creek Pavilion PB43, 45 and 47.