We have to a lot to thank our farmers for and the 2021 Fieldays is a great opportunity to celebrate everything they do for our country, says Waikato Chamber of Commerce chief executive Don Good.
The return of Fieldays – New Zealand's premier agriculture and primary industries expo – is a sure sign that we are getting back to normality, he says.
"It is important to give recognition to our farmers, many of whom did not take a break over the lockdown period, instead working throughout and ensuring our nation's vital food production and exports remained unimpeded."
Fieldays was unable to be held physically last year due to Covid-19 restrictions. Good said the National Fieldays Society did a fantastic job of hosting the event virtually but the lack of economic benefits to the Waikato region the event brings every year was sorely missed.
"The 2018 Fieldays generated $492m of sales revenue for New Zealand and created over 2000 jobs nationwide ($168m and 860 jobs for the Waikato alone) proving that the Fieldays is an incredibly important event for our country as a whole."
The resilience of farmers is reflected in the agricultural sector's strong performance coming out of the pandemic with agricultural export revenue actually increasing on the previous years.
"We have to a lot to thank our farmers for and the 2021 Fieldays is a great opportunity to celebrate everything they do for our country."
Fieldays also provides an opportunity to bring attention to the strong bonds between the Golden Triangle of Auckland, Tauranga and the Waikato, Good said.
"The co-operation between our regions encourages growth and collaboration and we are all better because of it. This relationship between the three economic centres is vital for New Zealand's overall economic performance and the Fieldays is a chance to meet, share ideas and reconnect with business partners" said Good.
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley agrees. "The primary sector has led New Zealand's economic recovery during the pandemic and has kept money pumping through local economies since lockdown.
"Regional economies within the golden triangle rely on each other to produce, package and freight kiwi products to overseas consumers. Thousands of Bay of Plenty locals pop over the hill to visit the Fieldays each year."
The Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Michael Barnett, will also be attending.
"Given the support the farming sector has given New Zealand over Covid we can celebrate this sector and meet our clients from out of Auckland at the Fieldays. I have my gumboots ready to go.
"The Waikato Chamber of Commerce has always been a strong supporter of the Fieldays. It recognises how important the event is for the region, for farmers, primary industries, and the region's hospitality and accommodation businesses.
Fieldays has cemented the Waikato worldwide as a powerhouse in the agriculture industry and is a wonderful contributor to the prosperity of the region. In recognition of this, the National Fieldays Society was inducted into the Waikato Business Hall of Fame in 2019 and as recently as 2020 was the recipient of the Social & Environmental Sustainability Award.