The Next Generation
Part 1 in the ‘next generation of young grower’s’ series.
Peter Schreuder, Assistant Grower Manager.
Peter is an ambitious young grower, at the age of 22 he is an assistant grower with one of New Zealand’s largest covered crop growers. He is currently the assistant capsicum grower at one of New Zealand Gourmets sites in Waiuku. Peter has achieved so much in a short time, he had a passion for growing which started at a young age.
Peter alongside the conveyer which transports the capsicums to the packing area. Bins, filled with capsicums, are brought from the rows and automatically emptied onto the conveyer belt, which takes them to the packing area a few 100 meters away. The capsicums are then immediately graded and placed into the onsite cool stores ready for transport to their customers. Below MIT promotional video including Peter and vision of the Ftek capsicum conveyer.
After a long hot period of weather Peter keeps a close eye on the root system. Temperatures have soared to over 30 degrees in the last week, but careful management of the rootzone has enabled Peter to maintain excellent root health.
Peter was born in Anloo, the Netherlands in 1995. He moved to New Zealand in 2003 with his family. He has grown up in a family heavily involved with growing. As happens, he has followed a career path similar to his father Roelf Schreuder. At the young age of 15 Peter began on his path working part time during school holidays at New Zealand Gourmets tomato growing operation in Mokai. He started, like most of us, with de-leafing and picking as his main duties. Quickly he realised he shared the same passion for growing as his father and decided to make a career in the horticulture industry.
In January 2014 Peter started working at Gourmet Waiuku Ltd. That same year he attended MIT and completed his level 4 Certificate in Horticulture. In 2015 Peter completed his Level 5 Diploma in Horticulture also at MIT. Peter is currently doing a Bachelor of Applied Management which he will complete in the middle of this year. The applied management will help Peter understand operation structures of business which he can then apply to any growing operation.
Understanding his potential, Peter was quickly offered a role as assistant grower at the Waiuku site. This site is 4.6 ha growing capsicums for export and local customers. Peter enjoys working with capsicums and especially likes how you can control the plants growth. He is learning how to control the environment with the Hoogendorn environmental computer. A DWL system from Cultilene substrates allows Peter to understand the irrigation needs of the plants.
Palermo, is a sweet pointed capsicum with intense flavour grown at New Zealand Gourmet Waiuku. This is a favourite in my house.
One of Peters jobs is to collect data on trials. In this case a trial of grafted plants, weekly growth rates and production figures are collected to establish the viability of new trials.
Special is one of the main capsicum varieties grown at New Zealand Gourmet and is grown generally for export to Japan, it is extremely popular for intense colour and flavour and size.
NZ Gourmet Waiuku. The new addition to the site was 3 hectares built by Apex Greenhouses in 2013. The previous owners built the remaining Faber greenhouse (now Apex) in 2007 growing Cymbidium Orchids. The property is heated using coal and Lpg. A huge damn collecting rain water provides plenty of storage for irrigation.
Peter will undertake an overseas working experience, he is currently in discussions with a seed company, which will see him move to Europe for 6 months in 2019. On his return in 2020 Peter hopes to secure a position as a full-time grower at one of the Gourmet growing facilities.
Peter has hobbies outside growing and is a talented sportsman. Tennis is his favourite sport and he competes in the Counties Men’s open grade and Auckland Men’s open two division . Peter also enjoys working with wood and making anything from bedside tables to shoe racks. Unfortunately, by virtue of breaking his cheek bone (by his own teammate!!), he no longer plays rugby but still loves to watch the All Blacks.
Peter is exactly what this industry wants and needs and he is part of the next generation of growers. His passion, drive and talent will ultimately see him succeed in what is a growth industry. He has completed the early stage of his education and will soon begin implementing what he has learnt in his career as a covered crop grower. I am certain this is not the last we will here of Peter Schreuder.
Peter alongside recently planted chillies supplied from Gellert Nurseries Ltd.
Article written by Stefan Vogrincic Grower2Grower