Education, Research and Industry Collaboration

Collaboration between education, research, and industry is at work in Hawke’s Bay as part of New Zealand Apples & Pears growing great global careers development programme.

Together with Massey University and Plant and Food Research, New Zealand Apples & Pears is aiming to build a talent pool of young people entering the industry to help “feed the planet”.

New Zealand Apples & Pears business development manager Gary Jones says plant based food is a sustainable way of feeding the world’s rapidly growing human population.

“Our industry is growing great careers and as part of this we want graduates who are able to use New Zealand’s horticultural expertise both here, and also around the world.

As part of the development programme, a group of 25 third year bachelors, masters, and PhD students from Massey University, who are all studying horticulture, enjoyed an action-packed three days in Hastings where harvesting is in full production.

They were given a real insight into how New Zealand is growing and exporting the best apples and pears for the world including site visits to Plant and Food Research, orchard and packhouse visits at Mr Apple, Turners & Growers, and Rockit Apples.

Studying for his Master’s, majoring in plant breeding, Dave Gallot, said horticulture is a fascinating, dynamic, important industry with a myriad of options available to pursue with excellent job prospects for graduates..

“Horticulture has a proven track record of sustained growth and it’s a socially responsible career. I’m looking forward to being part of a group dedicated to solving some of the important problems facing New Zealand’s horticultural and agriculture industry and the attendant global food security issues.”

Third year Bachelor of Horticulture student Talon Sneddon believes more people should look at studying horticulture because it’s a vast subject with a large amount of diversity and “will most likely always have jobs.

In the future Mr Sneddon hopes to help innovate and improve on current Horticultural practices. Possibly work on pest detection and eradication. “On the field visit I enjoyed learning about the apple breeding process,” he said.

Mr Jones said the New Zealand apple and pear industry is a global one.  “Our proprietary new apple and pear varieties are half our intellectual property and the other half is our knowledge of how to grow them well.

“If we combine both of these globally we will be a more successful industry in terms of accessing and developing new markets, and we will have a larger more skillful pool of talent to support this work.


Caption –, Massey University horticultural students who are benefiting from a collaboration between industry, education and research to grow global careers for New Zealand’s apples and pears industry.