Duncan Scotland

Business Manager, Hawke's Bay

If you love science at the sharp end, healthy food and the Hawke’s Bay lifestyle then you probably want my job, but sorry, I’ve beaten you to it. It’s incredibly satisfying to be working in an industry that is the best in the world at what they do, and making a real difference to New Zealand. And my role is at the fulcrum, working between the commercial and research arms of New Zealand’s pipfruit industry which are each levering the other forward.

My key role as bioprotection business manager is to connect our research and vision to the business needs of growers. In the industry, I‘m an advocate for Plant & Food Research and, among our scientists, I’m an advocate for growers and marketers. It helps that my previous role, managing a nationwide rural recycling programme, gave me insights into the concerns of people at all levels in the rural sector – as well an answering my need to improve our sustainability.

I’m now proud to be a part of Plant & Food Research which has been integral in improving the sustainability of the pipfruit industry. As well as breeding and developing appealing, disease and pest resistant apple varieties our scientists have also done brilliant work in displacing agricultural chemicals with biological controls. As a result, New Zealand apples are welcomed in more overseas markets than apples from any other nation.

It’s an exciting time to be in this field as new research shows how we can help plants increase their natural protection and techniques such as releasing sterile insects are already proving very effective in suppressing pest populations. Globalisation means pests and disease from overseas pose a constant threat, but we are always looking to the future and preparing for when and if they arrive.

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