The return of Fieldays after Covid prevented the 2020 physical version is a sure sign of a return to normality, the Waikato Chamber of Commerce says.
Blue, though not always clear skies greeted the crowds on the first morning of the expo this week –after fo g which prevented the morning flight into Hamilton landing had lifted.
There were long queues of cars along Airport Rd, but traffic control appeared to be running smoothly.
“We believe it is important to give recognition to our farmers, many of whom did not take a break over the lockdown period, instead working throughout and ensuring our nation’s vital food production and exports remained unimpeded,” Waikato Chamber of Commerce chief executive Don Good said.
The Chamber noted that in 2018 Fieldays generated $492m of sales revenue and created more than 2000 jobs nationwide. For Waikato that equated to $168m and 860 jobs.
The National Fieldays Society did a fantastic job of hosting the event virtually yet the lack of economic benefits to the Waikato region that Fieldays brings every year was sorely missed, Don Good said.
“This resilience is reflected in the agricultural sector’s strong performance coming out of the pandemic with agricultural export revenue actually increasing on the previous years.
We have to a lot to thank our farmers for and the 2021 Fieldays is a great opportunity to celebrate everything they do for our country.”
Fieldays also provides an opportunity to bring attention to the strong bonds between the Golden Triangle of Auckland, Tauranga and the Waikato, he said.
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said regional economies within the golden triangle relied on each other to produce, package and freight products to overseas consumers.
Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett, who will be at Fieldays said he had his gumboots ready to go.
“Given the support the farming sector has given New Zealand over Covid we can celebrate this sector and meet our clients from out of Auckland at the Fieldays.”