Horticulture Industry Awards
Each year, HortNZ makes several awards in recognition of outstanding contributions to commercial fruit and vegetable growing in New Zealand.
Below is a summary of awards made in 2023.
The horticulture Bledisloe Cup is awarded annually in recognition of an outstanding contribution to commercial growing in New Zealand over decades.
2023 winner - Max Lilley
The Environmental Award is awarded in recognition of a person or organisation that has developed and implemented a sustainable environmental project, with identifiable benefits.
2023 winners - Rebecca and Mike Casey of Forest Lodge Orchard and Jesse and Matthew Malcolm of Southern Produce.
Rebecca and Mike have worked hard over the past four years to achieve climate excellence in food production. They run a six-hectare, high density cherry orchard in Central Otago, that operates without burning any fossil fuels. Everything from irrigation, frost fighting, vehicles and tools are powered through New Zealand's renewable grid and through the power they generate and store using extensive solar and battery array.
Jesse and Matthew have been part of a catchment project driving change across different farming types in Southland. They have worked with the catchment group over several years to reduce the environmental impact of their operation through the use of information, in particular, about soil types.
The President's Trophy is awarded in recognition of passion for working on behalf of the horticulture industry, as well as a commitment to developing as a business leader and successful grower.
2023 winner - Colin Jenkins
Colin has dedicated his life to the horticulture industry. He started his career as a market gardener. He went on to build an industry leader from a small, fledging trust, successfully navigating several challenges - like PSA and adverse weather events - over almost four decades. He is respected by his iwi as well as by his RSE whanau in the Pacific.
Industry Service Awards
Industry Service Awards are presented to individuals who have gone beyond the call of duty by providing significant service to the New Zealand horticulture industry over many years.
2023 Industry Service Award recipients:
Grant has encouraged many young people to take up a career in horticulture. He revived the Otago Young Grower of the Year regional final and has turned it into a high calibre event that attracts contestants and sponsors alike. Even though he has now stepped back, Grant is still mentoring young people in the industry.
John has been in the horticulture industry for nearly 50 years. He has been instrumental in improving seed quality and combating pests and diseases. John has concentrated his efforts in the process vegetables and potato industries, and today, still plays a governance role within the potato industry.
Dr Jim Walker
Dr Jim Walker has had a 45-year career participating in and leading scientific innovation in New Zealand. Although primarily associated with the apple sector, Jim has made significant contributions to the avocado, summerfruit, citrus and onion industries. Jim has used his scientific expertise to develop innovative tools and techniques around pest and disease management, enabling New Zealand to maintain its status as a competitive exporter.
Life Membership Awards
Life Membership Awards recognise growers with long and dedicated service as office holders of HortNZ, an affiliated product group or grower association.
2023 Life Membership Award recipients:
Murray is based in Canterbury and has held a succession of governance positions in the vegetable, potato, process vegetable, grain and blackcurrant industries. Murray has a long association with the blackcurrant sector, as a founding member and chair of Blackcurrant NZ Cooperative Marketing. Today, Murray is an active member of the Canterbury Growers’ Association.
Andre de Bruin
Previous winners of the Bledisloe Cup
Danny Bearsley wins horticulture Bledisloe Cup for 2022
5 August 2022
Danny Bearsley has won the horticulture Bledisloe Cup for 2022. Danny is credited with saving the Hawke’s Bay process vegetable industry in the 1990s.
Mike Chapman wins Bledisloe Cup for horticulture
5 August 2021
From L to R: HortNZ President, Barry O'Neil; winner of the Bledisloe Cup, Mike Chapman; and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O'Connor.