Zespri last week officially opened its Mount Maunganui head office as part of the kiwifruit industry’s marquee Momentum 2020 conference.
Very similar to the famous rugby Bledisloe Cup, horticulture’s version was one of several cups Lord Bledisloe presented to New Zealand in 1931.
Horticulture New Zealand President Julian Raine said, in presenting the Cup at the Horticulture Conference in Tauranga, that Ombler is an exceptional grower who has been involved in the kiwifruit industry for 36 years and during that time has taken a lead role on critical issues, including Psa, for the benefit of all kiwifruit growers.
"After Psa was discovered in Te Puke in November 2010, Peter applied his orchard knowledge to the search for solutions," Raine said.
"He was a foundation member of Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH), the organisation set up to address the Psa outbreak and was its second chairman.
Ombler subsequently moved KVH from a Psa focus to acting for the kiwifruit industry on all biosecurity risks."
As president of New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated, Ombler was also instrumental in retaining the kiwifruit industry’s single desk status.
"Peter has shown effective leadership for growers and has steered the industry through two critical crises that could have destroyed the kiwifruit industry as it is today," Raine said.
"He is well respected with growers, industry leaders, and the Government."
In recognition of his services to the kiwifruit industry, Ombler received the Insignia of a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in 2013.
Other awards presented at the conference were:
President’s Trophy - Brent Wilcox, principal of A S Wilcox & Sons, for outstanding leadership and mentoring the next generation of leaders
Industry Service Award - Dr Bruce Campbell, Chief Operating Officer, Plant and Food Research, for ensuring research undertaken by and for the industry promotes growth and supports New Zealand’s premium position in international markets
Horticulture New Zealand Life Membership - Stephen Darling, who has dedicated his life to the pip fruit industry, and Gary Bennetts, for his contribution to the summer fruit industry.