21 Jun 2010

Fieldays turnout 'reflects growing rural optimism'

11:54 am on 21 June 2010

The organisers of the National Agricultural Fieldays, which ended its 42nd year at Mystery Creek on Saturday, say the strong turnout over the four days reflects a growing optimism in the rural sector.

More than 122,000 people visited the event - up 4.6% on last year.

Fieldays chief executive Barry Quayle says while some of the big machinery items were slow to sell, trade appears to be up on previous years and buyer confidence was considerably higher than last year.

He says most of the innovative items on sale were snapped up by visitors but the market for big ticket products is still pretty tough.

Mr Quayle says Fieldays continues to associate itself with similar events internationally, as well as using its website to promote trade.

International interest high

international participation this year was up more than 50% on last year, Mr Quale says.

Enterprise Ireland was in attendance for the second time and six Irish companies exhibited.

One of these companies is Easy Fix, a company specialising in rubber products for the farm, including matting for animals to lie on.

Ronan Boyle from Easy Fix says it's the first time the company has been at fieldays, but it's worth the trip.

Dr Gioacchino Tuxxino, the Italian Ambassador to New Zealand has been in attendance at Mystery Creek.

He says Italy is the seventh most powerful country economically and its emphasis is on tradition coupled with the latest technology.

Mexican delegation

Among the more than 122,000 people who visited the Fieldays was a delegation from Mexico led by Mexican Secretary of Agriculture and Livestock, Francisco Mayorga.

Mr Mayorga said he had met the New Zealand Commerce Minister and Agriculture Minister to discuss new ways of co-operation on research and development and climate change.

He said Fonterra is the main supplier of powdered milk for Government-run nutrition programmes in schools in Mexico.