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Progressive Kiwifruit Business Wins Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards

Progressive Kiwifruit Business Wins Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards

27 February 2016

BAYGOLD Limited, a large-scale kiwifruit operation, has taken out the Supreme title in the 2016 Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

The Paengaroa-based company received the prestigious award at the Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony on Friday, February 26 (2016). Owned by shareholders and directors who make up equity partnership Baygold Joint Venture partnership, BAYGOLD Ltd also collected the Hill Laboratories Harvest Award, CB Norwood Distributors Agri-Business Management Award and a Bay of Plenty Regional Council Award.

BFEA judges described BAYGOLD Ltd as a resilient and well-governed business that “survived Psa by demonstrating excellence and innovation”.

BAYGOLD owns two Te Puke orchards totalling just over 100ha – Coach Road Orchard and La Vigna - and expects to harvest 1.4 million trays of G3 kiwifruit this season. This is a massive increase on the 30,000 trays harvested in 2013 when the kiwifruit industry was hit by the devastating vine disease, Psa-V.

BAYGOLD now has a range of industry-standard strategies in place to combat the disease and is conducting trials on other Psa-V control measures.

Growth, science and passion are all evident within this business, judges said.

BAYGOLD’s nutrient management programme has been carefully designed to maximise the efficiency of nutrients while minimising impacts on the environment. Nutrients are strategically supplied via fertigation, and compost, fish, seaweed and humates are used to increase biological life in the soil.

BFEA judges said amenity trees and native plantings are a feature of the operation. A wide range of locally eco-sourced native species, including manuka, kanuka, akeake and flax, have been planted on steeper areas and around ponds. As well as enhancing biodiversity, these plantings also improve the working environment for staff.

Stoats, possums, rats and cats are trapped under a pest management strategy that has helped boost native bird life on the properties.

BFEA judges praised the company’s governance protocols, which include succession and staff ownership opportunities.

The company employs about 200 people during the picking season and has a strong focus on growing employment opportunities and providing staff training. BAYGOLD also assists local mission and community work as part of its ‘Grow the Future’ vision.

BAYGOLD’s origins span back to the late 1970’s when Jim McBride purchased his first kiwifruit orchard in the district. Jim’s son Murray later expanded the operation, developing multiple orchards and forming a management company.

Leighton Oats is BAYGOLD Ltd’s General Manager. The La Vigna property is managed by Keiran Harvey and Coach Road Orchard is managed by Matt Nelson.

BAYGOLD Ltd will host a BFEA Supreme-winner field day on April 5, 2016.

Winners in the 2016 Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards were;

Supreme Award, Hill Laboratories Harvest Award, CB Norwood Distributors Ltd Agri-Business Management Award, Bay of Plenty Regional Council - Award 1; Leighton Oats, Matt Nelson, BAYGOLD Limited, Te Puke.

Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, WaterForce Integrated Management Award, Bay of Plenty Regional Council - Award 2; Shane and June Birchall, Daniel Birchall and Megan Schutt, Waionehu Farm Limited, Rotorua.

Zespri® Kiwifruit Orchard Award, PGG Wrightson People in Agriculture Award, Farm Stewardship Award in partnership with the QEII National Trust and the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust; Peter and Marnie Anstis, Anstis Orchards I and II, Opotiki.

Massey University Innovation Award; Phillipa Wright and Stephen Kenna, KWKIWI Limited, Katikati.

LIC Dairy Farm Award; Gary and Debra Rowlands, GDR Farm Limited, Whakatane.

For more information on the 2016 BOP Ballance Farm Environment Awards and the Supreme Award field day, contact BFEA BOP Regional Coordinator Kirsten Winter, phone (0275) 721 244 or email bop@bfea.org.nz.

2016 Bay of Plenty Awards Evening
26 February 2016
The 2016 Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards evening was held on 26 February 2016 at the ASB Baypark, Mt

Ballance Farm Environment Awards National Sponsors