Photo credits: David Hollander.
A collaborative workshop to help food producers gain specialist knowledge and skills was held at Lincoln University yesterday.
Entitled “Growing You”, it is part of a series covering topics such as sustainable weed management and sustainable pest and disease management, and was a joint effort of the University, MG Marketing, and the Lincoln-based Biological Husbandry Unit (BHU) and Bio-Protection Research Centre (BPRC).
MG Marketing is a co-operative organisation with over 90 years of growing, distributing and selling fresh vegetables and fruit.
Lincoln University Business Development Manager, Dr Sam Yu, said MG Marketing shares the University’s commitment to help growers and commercial food producers mitigate risks in areas of specialisation such as the management of diseases and weeds, nutrients and soil health.
“This is a great way to help a specific organisation, with a reach to the wider industry, with positive outcomes,” he says.
Around 20 of MG Marketing’s top growers of courgettes, pumpkin, broccoli, spring onions, capsicums, carrots, and melons and other produce came from around New Zealand to Lincoln for the workshop.
“It is these activities and interactions directly with businesses, growers and organizations, that is testament to the importance of the work of Lincoln University, in particular in biocontrol of pests and pathogens, biosecurity and invasion,” Dr Yu says.
Dr Charles Merfield and Professor Steve Wratten, from the BHU and Lincoln respectively, were the main speakers at the workshop, while the BHU’s Bill Martin, BPRC’s Dr Alan Gash, Lincoln’s Dr Sue Trafford and Lincoln Agritech Ltd assisted in supporting it.
The event was officially opened and welcomed by Deputy Vice-Chancellor International and Business Development Jeremy Baker, along with National Procurement Manager of MG Roger Georgieff.