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NZ Fruitgrowers Bledisloe Cup for fruitgrowing

NZ Fruitgrowers Bledisloe Cup for fruitgrowing

Pat Sale, a Bay of Plenty horticulture consultant who has played a key role in the development of several major fruit industries, has been awarded the Bledisloe Cup for fruitgrowing.

Mr Sale, from Tauranga, has been involved in many subtropical fruit industries, including kiwifruit, avocados, citrus, passionfruit, tamarillos, feijoas and persimmons.

In that time he has advised growers on a host of issues, working with industry organizations, developed and trialled spray and crop management programmes, and provided a link between scientists and growers.

He has spoken at many conferences in New Zealand and overseas, written and edited several books and contributed a regular column to the fruit industry monthly ³The Orchardist²since 1986.

Pat Sale graduated with a Bachelor of Science in horticulture in the United Kingdom and emigrated to New Zealand in the 1960s to work for the Department of Agriculture and then MAF as an advisory officer, firstly in Auckland and then in the Bay of Plenty.

His early days in the Bay of Plenty coincided with the boom in kiwifruit as that industry grew at a great pace. One of his contributions to that industry was a textbook on how to grow kiwifruit.

In the 1980s he prepared a report on the future of the citrus industry which recommended that great emphasis be given to growing easy peel mandarins: these are now a rapidly growing export crop.

He became involved in the avocado industry in the 1970s and was for several years the research manager for the industry, which is growing rapidly and now worth over $30 million a year in export earnings.

The Bledisloe Cup, was presented to the New Zealand Fruitgrowers Federation in 1931 by Governor-General Lord Bledisloe, himself a major fruitgrower in England. It is awarded to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the industry.

The decision of the Federation directors followed nominations from the regions.

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