Meat Industry Association chair John Loughlin says China is one of the most demanding export markets in the world.
Each of the finalist’s field days would normally attract between 200 and 300 people and the awards dinner would host between 700 and 900 guests.
Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee chairman Kingi Smiler says the health and safety of finalists, sponsors, whanau and others is paramount.
“Following the advice of our health authorities about large gatherings must take precedence.”
The competition is now in its 87th year with horticulture being showcased for the first time in 2020.
Smiler says “we are pleased that we can complete the judging, because of the very small number of people involved and announce a winner for this inaugural Horticulture competition.”
“The winner will be announced by the Minister for Māori Development, the Nanaia Mahuta and Minister of Agriculture the Damien O’Connor and a special event for the presentation of the Trophy will be arranged once Covid-19 related restrictions are eased.”
Smiler says the three finalists – Te Kaha 15B Hineora Orchard in Te Kaha, Otama Marere in Te Puke and Ngāi Tukairangi Trust in Tauranga are in the kiwifruit industry's top performing quartile have developed sustainable businesses for their whanau and communities.
“What we see in our 2020 finalists is a unique combination of vision, resilience, innovation, good governance and smart management.”