New resource helps kiwifruit industry

Farmstrong has joined forces with New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers (NZKGI) to produce a new resource to help growers manage the ups and downs of the kiwifruit industry.

The kiwifruit industry has faced some bumpy years in recent times and adverse weather has only added to the pressure growers are under.

In addition to the usual challenges such as wind, rain, hail and sourcing labour, green kiwifruit growers have been hit by poor returns due to export volume and quality issues from last year’s harvest.

The new resource, Live Well, Grow Well: Stories From the Kiwifruit Industry, tells the stories of experienced growers and industry figures who have navigated tough times and what they do to manage workload and stress.

It also contains expert advice on topics such as nutrition, sleep, strategies to manage pressure and the importance of rest and recovery time.

The resource encourages growers to adopt the Five Ways to Wellbeing: connecting with mates, learning new things, keeping active, taking notice of and enjoying simple things and helping friends and community. Research shows these habits are proven to have a cumulative, positive effect on people and increase their resilience.

Resource much-needed in industry

New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers chair Mark Mayston says the resource couldn’t come at a better time.

“The great thing about it is that it doesn’t just acknowledge the pressures we deal with, it offers practical solutions. It shows there’s always a way through these challenges if we look after ourselves and each other.”

Mark says that as a grower, he’s had his share of highs and lows and completely understands how trying the industry can get.

“That’s why it’s important to take steps to maintain personal wellbeing, even when times get tough.”

Lock in what works for you

Farmstrong Ambassador Sam Whitelock, who comes from a farming background and studied horticulture at university, also features in the resource.

“The kiwifruit industry is an exciting industry but I know from talking with growers that it has its fair share of pressures too. There are always the things that you can’t control, such as prices or the weather, which can make life stressful. But when you work on a farm or orchard, you have to prioritise your wellbeing and make it happen yourself. There are steps you can take to relieve stress and pressure if you’re feeling ‘under the pump’,” Sam says.

“Different things work for different people, so this resource is a chance to check out what other growers are doing so you can ‘lock in’ what works for you.”

Sam says he’s seen first-hand the positive impact that being farm strong has had on people.

“Last year, 15,000 farmers increased their wellbeing thanks to Farmstrong. If you’re doing it tough, this is a very handy resource to add to your toolkit.”

Live Well, Grow Well: Stories From the Kiwifruit Industry is available online or in hard copy. To order a free hard copy, email or contact New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers (NZKGI).

Sign up for the Farmstrong newsletter