The first group of fruit growers visiting New Zealand for the International Fruit Tree Association study tour wrapped up their visits and joined a second group of growers for the annual conference in Napier before the second group moved on to begin their own tour.
At the conference Monday, IFTA presented two awards to longtime contributors to the global apple industry.
The 2018 Industry Service awards went to Craig Hornblow, a horticultural consultant for AgFirst, and to the apple and pear breeding team at Plant and Food Research New Zealand.
Plant and Food Research, formerly New Zealand’s Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, hired its first official apple and pear breeder in 1981.
Since then, the PFR team has gone on to develop some of the most widely popular new apple varieties in production today, including Royal Gala, Braeburn, Jazz and Envy, as well as the Piqa pear series.