The AUSVEG Board has held a successful meeting at the offices of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA), our Tasmanian state member, and visited farms and other industry sites in northern Tasmania.

AUSVEG is renewing its focus on connecting with our growers and understanding the issues facing industry members all around Australia, and as part of this exciting work our Board visited growers, packers and processors in Tasmania on Wednesday 7 March with the help and support of the TFGA. The Board was also accompanied by AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside and AUSVEG National Manager – Public Affairs Tyson Cattle.

In two separate groups, the team met with a collection of growers at a range of Tasmanian industry locations, including Kryden Farm, Harvest Moon, Charlton Farm, and other growing operations. These meetings, as well as a dinner held with growers and the TFGA Board and staff, helped the AUSVEG team learn more about the key issues affecting Tasmanian growing and understand the landscape of the industry and its major players.

In particular, the guided tour of Simplot‘s processing facility in Devonport given to one of the two groups helped the team understand the value of processing in the Tasmanian industry. The facility, which processes for the Birds Eye and Edgell frozen vegetable brands, delivers over 60,000 tonnes every year. It also fills long-term contracts with Coles and Woolworths that help our growers supply Australian shoppers around the country with locally grown produce, reducing the impact of frozen imports and supporting the local industry.

Following the visits, the Board held a productive meeting on Thursday 8 March. As well as discussing feedback and lessons from the previous day’s visits, the Board also managed other business, with a heavy focus on establishing AUSVEG’s public affairs priorities for the future.

The AUSVEG team would like to thank all the growers they met with for their time and valuable insights into the local industry. We would also like to thank the TFGA for their time, the use of their offices and for their great work in helping Tasmanian growers.

Going forward, the AUSVEG Board will take every opportunity to hold its meetings in regional locations so it can meet with other groups of growers around the country. AUSVEG looks forward to working with its state members to connect with growers around Australia and gain a deeper understanding of the unique needs of our major growing regions, as well as the challenges facing our national industry as a whole.

This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 13 March 2018.