A conference like no other – our food future

15 Apr 2019


Horticulture’s growth is underpinned by innovation and grower know-how. This isn’t limited to growing techniques, but also a rapidly increasing use of technology. Want to learn more? Well, come along to the Horticulture Conference at Mystery Creek on 31 July to 2 August and find out.

We’ve chosen Mystery Creek as it offers over 100 hectares of land and pavilions, which we will use to fully demonstrate what horticulture is doing now, what is next off the shelf, and what new ideas are in development. There’s also the opportunity for a bit of fun; we’re planning some tractor pulling competitions and other suitable social events. 

The key opportunity we get from Mystery Creek, however, is to get out of the conference room, and get ‘hands on’ in the field. The conference theme this year is ‘Our Food Future’, and woven into this theme is a rich tapestry of cutting-edge presentations and demonstrations. These include provenance, advanced breeding technology, the government’s well-being budget, Maōri involvement in horticulture, health and safety, the impact of the Emissions Trading Scheme, social media, novel pest management, the future of our industry, and more.

The highlight of the conference will be our ‘Carnival of Demos’, which will include:

- A flying moth dispenser, which will fly during the conference

- A 3D Maze with insects, demonstrating insect disruption work

- A laser vibrometer, using laser and vibrations for insect disruption

- New traps and lures, particularly for brown marmorated stink bug

- BumbleBox – new work using bumble bees for pollination services

- Printed food – through video footage and printed examples from a 3D printer

- Virtual reality, where delegates can put on a headset and walk around a vineyard and orchard

- Sensory – looking at some interactive sensory activity

- Precision agriculture fertiliser and irrigation

- And more.

The conference concludes with a biosecurity simulation, and bus trips to Zealong’s Tea Plantation, Visy Plastics Factory, and Hill Laboratories futuristic new facility.

This amazing conference has been made only possible by the support of our excellent sponsors, including platinum sponsor Countdown, gold sponsors Plant and Food Research and United Fresh, and all our exhibitors, demonstrators, and other sponsors that are making this a must-attend conference. This is also the most affordable top-quality conference you’ll attend this year, with early-bird discounts open for the next few weeks. And, keeping with the outdoors theme, you can even bring your own camper van and stay at the conference site for free.

There’s something for everyone at the new-look, hands-on Horticulture Conference. To see the programme and register, go to https://conferences.co.nz/hortnz2019/. Our food future is approaching rapidly; come see it in action.

- Mike Chapman, CEO