A virtual reality orchard tour, kiwifruit tasting, and smoothies made by pedalling a bike will be on offer at Zespri’s Fieldays tent this year.
The public is invited to call in at the Zespri grower tent at site E66-F65 during the Fieldays where they will be welcomed with a number of options.
Put on the virtual reality googles and experience a walk through an orchard; taste green and SunGold kiwifruit, and pedal a Zespri bike – the pedalling activates the smoothie machine. Kiwifruit is, of course, the main smoothie ingredient.
The tent will be open to the public on Wednesday to Friday from 8am-5pm, and on Saturday from 8am-4pm.
Zespri chief grower and alliance officer David Courtney says the Fieldays provide Zespri with a great opportunity to engage with growers, other industry partners and the wider community at it’s public-facing site.
The Fieldays theme this year is ‘the future of farming’ – showing innovation in the agricultural sector. David says the innovation focus resonates with Zespri as – in partnership with Plant & Food Research – Zespri is investing in the world’s largest kiwifruit breeding programme, which has delivered some outstanding results in new cultivars.
“In a changing world and global market, we need to be adaptable and relevant and our continued investment in innovation is helping to underpin that, with around $35 million invested annually by the kiwifruit industry,” says David.
He says Zespri is on track to double sales to NZ$4.5 billion and increase volumes to 260 million trays by 2025, as the industry aims to increase overall kiwifruit consumption around the world and grow the global kiwifruit category.
Meanwhile, kiwifruit growers and industry stake holders will be especially catered for at Zespri’s Fieldays tent. During the June 13-16 event new variety tastings and refreshments will be on offer from 9am. From noon until 12.30 each day representatives from Zespri, New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Industry and Kiwifruit Vine Health will offer season updates.
David says Zespri looks forward to updating growers on the progress being made this season and on other key initiatives underway to connect growers ever-closer to consumers.
“This is the foundation for how we will continue to improve the way we market our positive, sustainable products to consumers and deliver positive outcomes for our growers,” says David.
The update will be followed by a sausage sizzle. Refreshments and nibbles will be available daily from 3pm, and an informal, light brunch will be served in the hospitality site from 8am Saturday. As a new offering, free cholesterol and blood checks will be available from 11am-2pm on Wednesday through to Friday.