Last Friday night (September 21st) the Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association Centenary Gala Dinner was held at the Pukekohe Indian Hall. The PVGA incorporates an area from northern Warkworth to Te Kauwhata in the south. 580 people attended the event including some of the most recognised vegetable growers from inside and outside the PVGA region. It was fantastic to see a large contingent of greenhouse growers representing the industry at the event. I have not always associated the PVGA with the greenhouse industry, but I was highly impressed how the greenhouse industry was recognised in the presentations and was emphasised as a large contributor to the PVGA, and acknowledged as an extremely important part of the future growth and security of the vegetable growing industry.
It was great to see a large number of well known (almost household names) outdoor growers attended the event, and also many other industry partners directly linked to the growing industry. There were local accountants, bankers, wholesale merchants, retailers and even a few MP’s. It was nice to see my family solicitor and Pukekohe businessman Murray Kay amongst many others. It was a true reflection of how many industries that revolve around the growing industry help and support each other. It is an event like that, which demonstrates the importance of growers and how the success of their businesses is directly linked to the success of so many other businesses.
The gala dinner was a celebration about growers and their contributions to the industry over the past one hundred years. It was, additionally an insight into the future of growing. To celebrate the event, the PVGA announced it has established an Educational Trust to help young people entering the vegetable growing industry. “We just felt that getting people into horticulture is very important and as part of securing future growth and stability in the industry is important and this is one of our initiatives to help with this. The PVGA feel this is an important issue and are very excited about the opportunities this will create” (Comment from Pravin Hari, President PVGA). It is a tremendous initiative. To raise money for the Trust a set of knives and a painting (cover photo) were auctioned off. Nine thousand dollars was raised.
PVGA President, Pravin Hari.
Special mention to, Pravin Hari, the current President of the PVGA, I asked him the following day to reflect on the evening: “It’s been a great opportunity for our growing community to reminisce and reflect on a hundred years of achievement. And for people to find their old photos and equipment. The community involvement has been amazing and it’s been great to see everyone get behind us. It was a great event all round and we are extremely pleased that everyone had a good night.”
There were also some excellent speeches from representatives of the two largest supermarket chains. It was fantastic to have them acknowledge the growers for their efforts and the continued cooperation between growers and retailers.
It was a positive event which was terrific for bringing the community together and celebrating the efforts over the past one hundered years. The organisation of an event of this size would have been very challenging, and the committee in charge of organising the event deserve a special mention and congratulations for an outstanding effort. The dinner itself was delicious with all of the local vegetables we love to eat. And to the gentleman that won the Rottweiler barking competition, thanks for the laughs.
580 people attended the PVGA Centenary Dinner
Award winning artist Logan Moffat provided the art work that was auctioned. Congratulations to Yvonne Arrts from Pukekawa for purchasing the painting.
For more facts and to learn more about the PVGA visit there website: https://www.pvga.org.nz/
New Zealand National Horticulture Industry Statistics (2010)
Total horticultural revenue $5.8billion export and retail (including $1b in wine)
Export industry FOB sales revenue $2.4billion (plus $1billion of wine)
Domestic Retail value – $2.4billion
Total area of only 100,000 hectares is used for horticulture crops
1% of New Zealand’s total arable land area is used for horticulture
Employs 50,000 people in eight key growing regions
I appreciate your comments. Please feel free to comment below or on the grower2grower Facebook page:
Article Written by Stefan Vogrincic, Consultant, Grower2Grower