The Eastern Horticultural Fielday will fill a void in the horticulture industry at a time when there are "enormous opportunities"says Leon Stallard, president of the Hawke's Bay Fruitgrowers Association.
"If you go to the Mystery Creeks of the world it is very orientated towards agriculture," he said. "We are a different beast and we need different things. We are very much high-tech, whether it is pest and disease management, packhouses or the type of marketing we need.
"We have a wide variation of products that go to different markets - apples go to 68 world markets."
He said Asian markets were steadily opening up to New Zealand growers.
"They are recognising that what we grow is good produce that is incredibly safe and traceable. They are willing to pay for that so there are some very good opportunities opening up.
"The prices they are getting now for some fruit into Asia is phenomenal. In Europe we might have been getting $20 a carton but in Asia we are getting twice that and more."
He said the higher prices meant growers were finally been rewarded for risk and expertise.
The amalgamation of the fruitgrower's ICE Expo and the fielday, to be held at the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds on June 6, was a natural progression.
"The ICE Expo is a trade fair and the Showgrounds had their small lifestyle block show. My vision was to see if we can make it the horticulture show of the year and make it a national horticulture show.
"The small lifestyle block show was heavily orientated towards horticulture. I said let's amalgamate and they said, 'what a good idea'. The Hawke's Bay A&P; are the event managers of the whole affair - they definitely have the ability to manage it long term."
The Ice Expo had already developed a good impetus in the industry, as shown by the growth of the Young Fruitgrowers competition.
"This year 11 people have come forward and said they wanted to take part - in the past we have had to twist a few arms to get entries. That is a testament to how industry and individuals perceive the competition - the credibility and professionalism of it - it is a good career development opportunity.
He said the fielday would help consolidate the industry, with many growers based in the South Island.
"There is nothing better than having a competition between regions."
He said an art competition, with the theme forbidden fruit, would help engage the wider community.
Secondary school students from Gisborne to Dannevirke were expected to attend.
"Whether you want to be a scientist, accountant a marketer or lawyer - whatever you want to do in your career you can do it in horticulture. We want to say, consider us when you are looking for a job in the future. Horticulture is far more than sitting on a tractor or picking apples.
"We are an industry that will always be here. It doesn't matter how bad the economy is, you can guarantee our product will be on the tree next year - the vines and trees will crop so there will always be employment in horticulture regardless of what happens in the economy.
The fielday would be an opportunity to celebrate horticulture.
"So often we talk about how bad it is and that's what gets reported on - it is much more than that."