Adviser, EastPack Ltd, TE PUKE NEW ZEALAND
Bruce Shepherd is the technical manager for EastPack, a company that packs the produce from 3300ha of New Zealand grown kiwifruit.
Bruce knows there is a fine line between trying to boost productivity and sacrificing quality, but his mantra is to always grow the highest quality fruit possible.
He is committed to helping growers achieve the highest quality crops and the best possible returns. To accomplish this, Bruce focusses on effective management – the right crop protection, fertiliser applications and canopy management to ensure not only are growers producing a large crop but that the crop is of a high standard and meet’s strict export guidelines
He is always scouring the research world for ways to improve quality, whether it is pruning techniques, canopy management or even better crop protection products.
Given the relatively small size of the kiwifruit industry in the world’s primary production, Bruce knows chemical companies will not develop products specifically for this industry. As a result, he looks to broadacre farming and commodities, such as wheat, to see if there are any advances in chemistry that can be utilised.
Bruce, along with being an active member of the Zesori Kiwifruit Pollination Working Group, has provided a guideline to kiwifruit management to advise growers on what products to use at what stage, all backed by extensive research and data.
Bruce aims to be the reason that people come back to eating kiwifruit again and again, and will do all it takes to make sure that all his growers are producing great-tasting fruit.