May 25, 2018

Looking forward to looking forward

They say “change is the only constant in life”. And it’s true, nothing stands still for long, especially in horticulture. In fact, our fair industry itself is a by-product of, even reliant, on change.

Change is inevitable. Seasons, droughts and floods come and go. Governments go from left to right as day does to night. And, while we can realistically expect that day will follow night and that Labour will eventually cede to the National party, it’s the scale and impact of change that is the most difficult to predict. You never know what tomorrow will bring in horticulture. Heck, even Jim Hickey got it wrong on a few occasions.

Through all of this we tend to “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst”.

Adages and clichés aside, here at Jenkins Freshpac Systems I genuinely feel excited about what the future looks like for our horticultural sector. And, from the top of our organisation down, there is a common belief here that what we deliver to customers today may not be what we are known for “tomorrow”. Wider and more economical access to new and existing technologies, as well as growing social demand for “better” alternatives, will ensure that us as suppliers are kept looking forward for the best new “way”.

Right now, all current signs point to the projected industry growth requiring multi-faceted levels of increased support, infrastructure and investment to simply deliver at a larger scale. In my role this means championing new types automation that not only addressed nation-wide labour shortages (here, here, here and here) but opens up possibilities for Kiwi companies and thinkers to problem solve and, ultimately, combine forces to take on the world (an obvious and cheeky lead-in to our recent news). The truth is that the scale of growth and resolution on what we do to accommodate this is not yet crystal clear.

There is a lot to be done to plan and prepare for bigger and better things. Ideas to be executed, yields to be realised and produce to be picked. And, while we need to handle what’s in front of us with absolute commitment, I continue to look forward to looking forward.

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