Pioneering New Zealand fruit-crop protection work by Hawke's Bay researcher Dr Jim Walker has been recognised at an international awards ceremony in Australia.

Based with Plant and Food Research at Havelock North, Walker received the Sustainability award at the Syngenta 2018 Growth Awards on Wednesday.

One of two New Zealanders among the winners, he was recognised for leading the team
which introduced the World-first Integrated Feed Production (IFP) which helped New Zealander growers adopt practices lowering pesticide residue levels to mere fractions of international tolerances.

Consequently, his commitment to the specialised area, spanning 30 years, was important in putting New Zealand apples at the leading edge of increasing international demand for residue-free fruit, award organisers said.

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It has claimed him several other awards, including a New Zealand Plant Protection medal in 2011, and last year an award for outstanding contribution to the New Zealand pipfruit industry.