HortNZ is speaking with young people in the industry to see what they have been up to during the COVID-19 lockdown.
This week we interview Dylan Hall, a second-year Massey agribusiness student, who comes from an orchard in Gisborne. Dylan is also current treasurer of the Massey Horticulture Society.
Who’s in your bubble?
Fortunately prior to the lockdown commencing I was able to get back home to Gisborne to be with my family.
What have you been doing in the lockdown?
- Getting out on the orchard to get a few jobs done
- Trying to keep fit in case the footy season starts back up
- Enjoying spending time with family
What do you think are the industry’s major challenges with COVID-19?
I think one of the biggest issues facing the horticulture sector as a result of this lockdown is the closure of our independent retailers. Having been closed for the last three to four weeks they have suffered a significant financial blow and the other side to this is that we have incurred a massive amount of food wastage due to these guys being closed. Having done a summer of work at a produce distribution centre and seeing how much produce comes through the facility in a day I could only imagine the amount that is not being used or sold.
What do you think the opportunities might be, once we’re further through COVID-19?
A positive I see coming out of COVID-19 crisis is the fact that society has in a way had to go back to the basics with the closure of takeaway joints and restaurants. Which means people have had the opportunity to renew their ability to cook at home using fresh produce. I hope that this trend continues and the demand remains high for fresh produce at the conclusion of the lockdown.
Anything else you would like to add?
Just quickly I would like to do a quick shout out to all of our essential workers out there, especially everyone in the horticulture sector who are doing a really good job at ensuring that the industry continues to move forward. Your work does not go unappreciated and we thank you for that.
On that note, I hope everyone is staying safe in their bubble and finding ways to entertain themselves. Stay safe everyone.