Tractor accident inspires award-winning business concept

An accident on a Nelson kiwifruit orchard has led to a business idea which has won accolades for its innovation.

PICMI is a software platform which helps manage labour issues in the horticulture industry.

The idea is the brainchild of Nelson woman Genevieve Griffin-George who said it aimed to take the hassle out of hiring seasonal staff.

"It removes all the admin associated with hiring short term staff," she said.

"We gather all the personal identification, bank, health and safety details, and that's all processed for the worker," said Griffin-George.

Genevieve Griffin-George came up with the idea after getting first hand experience on a kiwifruit farm.
Genevieve Griffin-George came up with the idea after getting first hand experience on a kiwifruit farm. Photo credit: Supplied

Using PICMI, workers sign up and add their details, saving time for employers.

"The whole philosophy is we get the worker to do the work."

"It takes a grower 15 seconds to sign up to add that worker, then they have a view and they can manage that whole process rather than inside an office and doing all of that paperwork while out in the field."

The platform also enables employers to personalise and manage their on-boarding process saving more time and money whilst acting as an intermediary between employee and employer.

Griffin-George said the idea came after a near-tragedy on her family's kiwifruit orchard near Nelson.

"My dad was in a serious tractor accident, he's okay now, but I went in and ran our family kiwifruit orchard, so I gained first hand experience in all of the things that were incredibly frustrating that I couldn't do anything about.

"That's how PICMI came about, I thought, there has to be a better way."

The idea was a star of the Innovation Awards at this years Fieldays at Mystery Creek, winning three categories.

Griffin-George said there had already been a lot of interest in the product.

"We've had lots of different industries that are really interested in what it is that we are building and it doesn't apply just to the horticulture and agriculture industries."

"We've had dairy, we've had meatworks, we've had beekeepers, you name it, so it's really exciting."

PICMI had been certified as a Minimal Viable Product, and is being piloted with selected growers, something Griffin-George said was vital for its success.

Meanwhile she is focussed on getting PICMI used by more growers.

"We are looking for more pilot customers so that we can test further features and be prepared for the big season coming up next year."