The Horowhenua Taste Trail event will not be held in 2021, due to the ongoing uncertainty created by covid-19.
The event’s Trustees – representing Lewis Farms, Woodhaven Gardens, Genoese Foods and Turks Poultry – made the decision earlier this month. However, they remain committed to the event, which aims to give people an authentic, behind-the-scenes experience of quality food production from leading and emerging Horowhenua producers.
“We are incredibly disappointed to cancel the event, but the trustees are not in a position to carry the financial risk of planning for the event if it then has to be cancelled due to a change in covid-19 alert levels. There is just still too much uncertainty and many events have been negatively impacted by alert level changes,” Horowhenua Taste Trail Trust Chair Erica Guy says.
“While we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 event, we plan to work hard to develop a mechanism to provide better support to organisations and groups running quality events in the Horowhenua.
“We recognise that many of the district’s special events are run by volunteers and generally on a shoestring budget. We just think there’s got to be a way by pooling resources and developing capability to strengthen the long-term sustainability of many great local events.”
Mrs Guy says she has already spoken with Councillors and executives from the Horowhenua District Council, met with representatives from the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust and spoken with representatives from other local events, like the Great Forest Marathon, and believes there is potential to develop an events-style hub.
“Obviously there’s lots more work to do, but that is one area we will focus our attention this year.”
She says it is crucially important that those in a position to support quality events attracting thousands of people to the district do so, as a way of enabling the events and supporting the economic wellbeing of the community.
“The Horowhenua Taste Trail has been an incubator for many food businesses in our district and has always seen itself with a role to play in enabling the growth and development of emerging producers.”
The Trust is committed to the Horowhenua and showcasing the district as a great place to do business, live and play, Mrs Guy says.
“We really want to thank all those that have supported us, including those that have attended, sponsored, partnered and volunteered, and say we will be back!”