Plant & Food Research host Primary Industry Officials

20 May 2016

Primary industries Ministers and representatives from New Zealand and Australia toured Plant & Food Research’s Mt Albert site yesterday as part of the Agriculture Ministers’ Forum (AGMIN). 

Hosted by Plant & Food Research’s Chair Michael Ahie, CEO Peter Landon-Lane and Chief Scientist Professor Richard Newcomb, the delegation was led Hon Jo Goodhew, Minister for Food Safety and Associate Minister for Primary Industries, along with MPI Director General, Martyn Dunne, and included six Australian State agriculture Ministers and State and Federal agriculture officials, with a delegation of around 40 people in total. 

“It was a pleasure to host members of the Agriculture Ministers’ Forum today, and have the opportunity to share with them the science that supports the horticulture and food & beverage industries here in New Zealand” said Plant & Food Research CEO Peter Landon-Lane.

“Plant & Food Research is involved in a number of commercial and research collaborations in Australia that benefit the primary industries of both countries. 

“In some cases it’s conducting research in Australia that delivers knowledge back to New Zealand, in other cases the work we do offshore helps enhance our own biosecurity by decreasing the chance of pest incursions.

“Our involvement in the joint Sit+ programme for example is working to manage Queensland Fruit Fly in Australia in order to decrease the population there and reduce the risk of further incursions in New Zealand.”

While at Plant & Food Research the delegation heard talks from Dr Zac Hanley, Science Group Leader, Kiwifruit on the growth of the New Zealand kiwifruit industry and the Institute’s partnership with Zespri; Dr Kieran Elborough, General Manager of Science, Breeding & Genomics on the commercialisation of new pipfruit cultivars and the relationship with the trans-Tasman industry joint venture Prevar; and an update on biosecurity and the Institute’s Queensland Fruit Fly collaborations from Dr Phillippa Stevens, General Manager of Science, Bioprotection.

Ministers and guests toured Plant & Food Research’s Mt Albert site, participating in a sensory evaluation with the Sensory & Consumer Science lab — one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere — and touring the Postharvest research facility — also one of the largest of its type in the world.

Contact:
Emma Timewell
Communications Manager, Corporate Communications,
Plant & Food Research Mt Albert,
120 Mt Albert Road, Sandringham
Auckland, 1025, New Zealand
EMail: media@plantandfood.co.nz
Telephone: +64-9-925 8692
Mobile: +64-21-2429 365

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