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A research approach to enhance innovation in the New Zealand kiwifruit industry

Buxton, K.N., Hewett, E.W., Reid, J.I., Cameron, E.A.
Acta horticulturae 2003 no.610 pp. 53-59
Actinidia deliciosa, canopy, case studies, human resources, industry, kiwifruit, markets, New Zealand
Intensification of competition on world kiwifruit markets has prompted the New Zealand kiwifruit industry into exploring alternative research approaches to enhance the rate of innovation in the industry. This paper describes a case study approach that was employed to gain an understanding of the factors affecting the dry matter (DM) content of kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa var. deliciosa cv. Hayward) from the perspective of an industry consultant considered to be an ‘expert in orchard management’. When case study findings were compared and contrasted with reports from the literature, key differences were found relating to how the canopy should be managed to optimise fruit DM content. Discrepancies between the two sources of information indicate that opportunities exist to enhance industry knowledge by formalising the knowledge of consultants and, perhaps, other personnel working in the industry. Rate of industry innovation will be enhanced by combining traditional R&D strategies with new strategies aimed at creating multidirectional channels for formal knowledge flow between personnel throughout the whole of the kiwifruit industry.