Global interest in the story behind healthy, fresh food has inspired Horticulture New Zealand to start an Instagram page where people can better get to know the fruit and vegetable growers of New Zealand, Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says.
Growers of New Zealand (@growersofnz) went live yesterday and already has sparked interest from New Zealand and around the world. Each week a grower will be profiled at work, and the seasonal crop they have been working with will be highlighted in a recipe.
"Social media is a great way to reach a wide and engaged audience who want to find out more about their food and the people who grow it," Chapman says. "Instagram is really the social media of foodies, travellers and influencers and of course, it is very visual which is perfect for healthy food.
"But it is no longer just the food people are interested in. Increasingly people want to know their food has been produced in a sustainable way, with well protected labour.
"New Zealand fruit and vegetable growers have a great story to tell. Many run inter-generational family businesses where three or four generations of the same family have been caring for the land. They understand environmental sustainability from years of record keeping and experience. As the generations change, more science and technology is applied and in horticulture we have businesses at the cutting edge of healthy food production.
"Growers of New Zealand can also tell our international audience more about New Zealand fresh fruit and vegetables, given that we export to 124 markets and there is interest in organic growing worldwide, which is another New Zealand strength.
"Recipes are always popular on social media, as people look to healthier eating and want daily inspiration and advice. We will be promoting what is in season at the time and therefore readily available and affordable, and also will be profiling the lesser known fruits and vegetables to encourage people to broaden their horizons.
"Horticulture is growing rapidly and we need to attract more people into careers. So we hope by profiling the range of jobs available we will get people either starting out, or looking to change their career, interested in the varied paths horticulture has to offer."