While the men folk of Jenkins have been travelling the world and no doubt sharing their recent experiences and learnings in this Fresh News edition, Ann and I have been doing the equally important job of visiting our own local customers in the regions, working with people to prepare for the upcoming season of our very best produce.
One of our trips gave us the opportunity to attend the PMA Australia/NZ networking event in Auckland where the guest speaker David Stewart, the General Manager Merchandise at Foodstuffs who provided insights into the trends in the New Zealand Fresh Produce industry and how Foodstuffs are working to grow the fresh produce sector.
David’s presentation highlighted the changing habits of NZ supermarket consumers and how households are changing (nothing new I know) but convenience and online buying growth is phenomenal. It sounds like we haven’t seen even a glimpse of what is to come in this space. Whole foods, fresh produce and meatless meat are outstripping demand, the challenge was given to us all to go and try some “chickenless chicken”. Hmm, challenge accepted and I can’t disagree that it doesn’t taste like chicken or have the potential to look like chicken. My household is a little way off swapping NZ grown poultry or meat for a pea protein product however, but great to have this available to flexitarians’ that choose to eat that way. A big sigh of relief that we don’t need to sample orangeless oranges or appleless apples J
To wrap up my column this month I just wanted to focus on the recent events that have the capacity to affect us all within the horticulture industry. Even the most positive glass half full people could be forgiven for feeling a bit down with the recent news highlighting the Queensland Fruit flies found, raging fires in Nelson, Chinese boarders and trade issues and drought. Some of these events are now under control or resolved with the later issue of trade and China being very much a wait and see.
One thing is for sure, we are going to have our wits about us this year … Look after yourselves people, may we be successful in planning for the things we can control so we’re on the front foot to deal with the things we can’t control.