T&G Global has announced it has signed an extended five-year sponsorship agreement with the Royal NZ Institute of Horticulture Education Trust which runs the Young Horticulturalist of the Year competition.

T&G has supported the annual competition since 2010, renewing annually, as a top-tier partnering sponsor but the growing need for more talent in the industry has led T&G to double its financial support through to 2022.

Andrew Keaney, T&G’s executive general manager, New Zealand produce, says T&G considers competitions like the Young Horticulturalist of the Year to be incredibly important.

“They’re vital for developing and recognising the next generations’ skills and knowledge to ensure that as an industry, we are collectively supporting our future leaders.”

T&G’s strengthened commitment will enable a significant step-up in gear for the competition says Young Horticulturalist of the Year organiser Susan Tremain.

2017 Young Horticulturist of the Year Shanna Hickling with competition Partnering Sponsors, Andrew Keaney of T&G Global, Malcolm Nitschke from AGMARDT and Max Spence from Fruitfed Supplies

“Securing a five-year strategic partnership from a company of T&G’s stature is a massive vote of confidence for the growing relevance of the competition, which not only sets the bar for the industry, but horticulture’s rise as potentially the economic powerhouse of New Zealand’s future. “It also sends a strong signal that the major players in our economy are committed to taking horticulture to a bigger and better future for our sector, and for the young talented Kiwis who are building that future in horticulture,” adds Susan. “The world needs food and the planet needs it to be produced sustainably – there’s a reason we are calling horticulture ‘the new black’”.

Andrew Keaney continues saying the competition also supports the growing horticulture industry which is now worth $8 billion.

“As an advocate for over 1500 growers and 120 years’ growing experience, T&G understands the challenges our industry faces from adverse weather to finding talent. The Young Horticulturalist competition helps address the latter by supporting emerging talent across the spectrum of growing from wine to flowers and fresh food. As a major employer, we take our role in enabling and attracting young people into horticulture seriously and hopefully our increased support of the competition will further assist the growth required to ensure we reach the industry’s combined target of $10 billion in value by 2020.”