News and Success Stories

Published 10 October 2023

Delegation returns from Harvesting Tomorrow: Hort Automation Market Immersion

A Callaghan Innovation delegation of New Zealand agritech companies, growers, researchers and industry partners has returned back from a two-week market immersion to America’s West Coast  capped off with attendance at the 2023 FIRA event.

The focus for this market immersion trip was on automation in horticulture, from the field or orchard all the way through the supply chain. The group travelled through Washington, Oregon and California, meeting with experts and touring berry farms, leafy green producers, and pipfruit orchards.

Callaghan Innovation's Project Lead, Andrew Cameron, said it was incredibly useful for the New Zealander companies to understand the differences in the US market, and how they might approach them.

What might surprise some people – and what definitely surprised some of us – is that while the scale of industry in the States is massive, adoption of technology on-farm isn’t as far ahead of us as we thought.

– Andrew Cameron, Callaghan Innovation

The delegation came to better understand the  pathways to technology adoption experienced by growers, and their preferences for companies setting up close to their operations, allowing faster iterations when developing solutions, as well as supply hands-on troubleshooting if needed.

For more insights from Andrew, follow him on LinkedIn and keep an eye out for future market immersion opportunities on the Agritech Activator’s LinkedIn feed.