Woolworths congratulates Dudley Mitchell from Bunbury, Western Australia for being recognised with a Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarship.
Dudley was announced as the winner of the 2017 Woolworths sponsored Nuffield Scholarship at the National Conference, held in Darwin in September 2017.
Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships is a unique program that awards primary producers with a life-changing scholarship to travel overseas and study an agricultural topic of choice. Scholars represent a wide number of rural industries and have returned to Australia to adopt best management practice so that excellence in all aspects of agricultural production is achieved.
Through the scholarship, Dudley will be supported to study current trends in canopy management of avocado orchards in Chile, North America, Israel and New Zealand on his research tour.
Dudley believes the avocado industry’s current architectural growing model is not suited to high-density plantings and will seek to identify new growing techniques, technologies and management systems that will be effective in the Australian sector as part of his study.
Dudley’s company HCMS Pty Ltd manages Avonova Farms, a 50-hectare avocado orchard producing, on average, 800 tonnes of fruit per year and a pack shed, which handles approximately 1700 tonnes annually.
“Higher density planting may deliver greater productivity initially, and at a similar cost of production, however without effective canopy management, productivity will decline earlier in the life of the orchard than with conventional planting methods,” Dudley said.
Woolworths is committed to providing Australia with quality, sustainable fresh food, and is proud to be associated with Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships. Working alongside our suppliers is a key part of our Corporate Responsibility strategy, and these positives relationships will, in turn, provide our customers with the best possible products in the most sustainable way.