Dr. Annette Richardson Honored With 2023 Kiwifruit Innovation Award; Zespri's Bruce Cameron Comments

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Thu. September 7th, 2023 - by Jenna Plasterer

NEW ZEALAND - Drumroll, please. The winner of the 2023 Kiwifruit Innovation Award is Dr. Annette Richardson, who is being honored for her work in exploring budbreak, a crucial stage in the kiwifruit growth cycle.

Dr. Annette Richardson, Plant and Food Research Scientist“This is an exciting industry to be a part of—it’s really rewarding to see all that industry has achieved over a few decades, and I know there’s an exciting future ahead,” said Richardson. “Collaboration is a key part of the sector’s success, and Plant & Food Research is fortunate to be working alongside great partners such as Zespri™, New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated, Kiwifruit Vine Health, and the Kiwifruit Breeding Centre as well as kiwifruit growers.”

The plant and food research scientist is an expert in plant physiology and has explored kiwifruit growing techniques to support future production throughout her four-decade career, a release stated. Her work with budbreak has led to advancements that have helped increase yields and contributed to the overall quality of kiwifruit crops.

Dr. Annette Richardson has been honored with the 2023 Kiwifruit Innovation Award

She has extensively researched budbreak in kiwifruit to support grower returns with increased yields of fruit with reduced variability. One of Dr. Richardson’s first pieces of work was her involvement in the introduction of Hi-Cane, a budbreak enhancer applied once to vines in the dormant winter period, to the kiwifruit industry in 1988.

Bruce Cameron, Chairman, Zespri™“Dr. Richardson’s knowledge of plants and how they grow under varying conditions has helped the industry remain resilient while also helping pave the way for a more sustainable future. She has the incredible ability to take complex science and convey it to the industry in a way which people can understand and use,” said Zespri Chairman and award judge Bruce Cameron. “Her work in researching kiwifruit budbreak and vines, in new cultivar development, and in supporting the industry’s ongoing use of Hi-Cane through modifying it for new gold and red varieties, as well as its alternatives has helped shape the way kiwifruit is grown and ensured the industry can adapt to meet growing demand for kiwifruit around the world and return more value back to growers and our communities.”

To read more about Dr. Richardson and her impactful work, click here.

Congratulations to this innovator on her award!