New graduate school to support food targets

4 July 2014

A new graduate school is expected to support the Government’s target of doubling New Zealand’s food exports by 2025 through increased linkages between students and industry.

The Joint Graduate School of Horticulture and Food Enterprise has been established between Massey University and the crown research institute Plant & Food Research. The aim of the school is to increase opportunities for students at the university to become involved in research undertaken at Plant & Food Research.

About a dozen Massey masters and doctoral students are studying topics that would in future be offered at the school. This number is expected to increase with the availability of new research projects and supervisors from Plant & Food Research.

Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says this is another positive step in a long history of collaboration between Massey and Plant & Food Research. “This new School will provide greater opportunities for research that will add value to the food industry. Students will benefit from the expertise of the nation’s top researchers and their projects will increase their understanding of how science meets industry needs.”

In the year to June 30, the horticulture industry generated more than $3.6 billion in export revenue, with the major products being wine ($1.2b) and kiwifruit ($934m).

A report from the Ministry of Primary Industries last month revealed the New Zealand horticulture sector is in need of 15,000 more qualified workers by 2025. “The joint graduate school will help develop a workforce with scientific knowledge, a key requirement for industry growth,” Plant and Food Research chief executive Peter Landon-Lane says. “Access to a talented, scientifically-literate workforce is essential to achieving the potential of our horticulture and food industries and doubling New Zealand's food exports by 2025.”

Massey and Plant & Food Research are both partners in FoodHQ, New Zealand’s international centre for collaborative food research.

Emma Timewell
Communications Manager, Corporate Communications,
Plant & Food Research Mt Albert,
120 Mt Albert Road, Sandringham
Auckland, 1025, New Zealand
Telephone: +64-9-925 8692
Mobile: +64-21-2429 365

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