More than 29,000 people entered through the gates on the first day of Fieldays, an increase of 10 per cent from day one of 2019.
New Zealand National Fieldays Society chief executive Peter Nation said yesterday was a great morale booster for the New Zealand primary sector.
"You can feel the energy this year. It's an exciting time for New Zealand and for the primary sector and the events industry, and we're really looking forward to the next three days.
"Our exhibitors have really invested in this year's event, the sites this year are spectacular. In conversations I've had with exhibitors, they've said they have had strong sales and foot traffic through their sites and are enjoying having that face-to-face contact again with their customers, so that's excellent news. Visitors are in for a treat this Fieldays."
The KPMG Leaders' Breakfast kicked off first thing in the morning, where the annual KPMG Agribusiness Agenda was launched.
Meanwhile, Fieldays TV started live at 10.30am and included Nici Wickes cooking a delicious chicken liver pâté on Fieldays Kitchen.
Fieldays TV also showcased a Health and Wellbeing segment with discussions about melanoma and maternity care in rural communities, while Fieldays Future Focus tackled hot rural sector topics such as challenges with food equity and diversifying land use.
Listen to Jamie Mackay interview Fieldays TV host Te Radar on The Country below:
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined Fieldays TV host Te Radar on the couch to talk about all things agriculture.
"This could well be the most significant show of its kind globally this year," Ardern said.
Ardern talked about how Covid-19 had affected the work force, and how the Government was working with farmers and growers to face climate action.
"Our food producers have played such a critical role for actually helping get New Zealand through. When the team of 5 million were predominantly staying at home, it was [our food producers] that were still trying to find ways to operate and…get their products to market. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude," Ardern said.
The Prime Minister also attended the Stakeholders Luncheon alongside ministers Stuart Nash, Meka Whaitiri, and Dr Ayesha Verrall.
Yesterday evening, New Zealand National Fieldays Society president, James Allen announced the Fieldays 2021 Site Awards, which were judged on visual display, customer engagement, compliance, and an outstanding feature of their exhibition.
The Commitment to Sustainability Award, presented to Trevelyan's Pack and Cool Ltd, was judged on sustainability messaging to the public, waste and energy management during the event, and inclusion of sustainable promotional material at their exhibition.
"The standards of exhibitor sites at Fieldays are lifting higher each year. The quality of the sites this year is exceptional; exhibitors have really gone the extra mile," Allen said.
"It really highlights how excited exhibitors are to be back on site at Fieldays this year."
Fieldays 2021 Site Award winners
Best Outdoor Site less than 200m²
Flexi Tanks NZ Ltd
Best Outdoor Site 200m² – 400m²
Safari Tents NZ Ltd
Best Outdoor Site over 400m²
Te Pari Products Ltd
Best Indoor Site
Ministry for Primary Industries, Manatu Ahu Matua (MPI)
Fieldays Supreme Site
Te Pari Products Ltd
Commitment to Sustainability Award
Trevelyan's Pack and Cool Ltd