We all know that the horticulture industry is growing rapidly. Whilst this is positive news, it also brings with it some major challenges. A large number of skilled horticultural jobs will require a trained workforce. Any employer in the industry will tell you it is hard to find staff with the expertise that they need.
AVOCO is supporting the Katikati Innovative Horticulture Trust in its bid to create a centre of excellence for our industry, bringing together educational skills and training providers under one umbrella in Katikati to offer pathways into horticulture.
Read more about the project below from trustee Hilary Johnson.
To help the project grow and build and establish a much-needed training facility, we need the help of orchardists, post-harvest operators and the wider industry. Specifically, we are asking for financial donations. The project needs to raise $430,000 by September 2020 in order to build the facility and a further $125,000 for operational expenses. Government agencies have been approached for assistance but this project, unfortunately, does not meet funding requirements. Therefore, we need the assistance of the horticulture industry and the wider community to help make the project a reality. To date, we have had good support but now is a critical time for the project and we are asking for your help.
So far we have raised just over $80,000 of funds. We also have significant pledges for further amounts in the future and are pursuing opportunities for funding from philanthropic organisations.
AVOCO directors John Schnackenberg and Alistair Young have been instrumental in helping get this venture off the ground and so strongly encourage fellow growers to check out our Givealittle page and support this initiative.
In October 2019, John and Alistair invited AVOCO growers to pledge $100 per PPIN as an investment in growing a future orchard workforce. We received six wonderful donations of $100, but had hoped for a much more widespread contribution from the large number of you in your sector.
Please, it takes five minutes to go online and contribute. We really need your help. Indeed, you could do it right now!
Also, take the opportunity to visit the trust’s website to find out more about this exciting project.
Thanking you in anticipation.
Katikati Innovative Horticulture Trust