AUSVEG SA is the state-wide representative body for South Australia’s $2 billion vegetable industry. It works with governments at all levels to advocate on key issues and deliver several key industry development programs that include facilitating VegNET – South Australia, an investment that keeps vegetable growers informed about current R&D activities, results and resources. AUSVEG SA Chief Executive Officer Jordan Brooke-Barnett provides an update.

New Hortbiz Program launched

VegNET – South Australia is assisting with the delivery of the new ‘Hortbiz’ Business Capability Program, which has been launched in South Australia with assistance from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Program.

The program will be delivered in two streams with a Business Foundations Program focused on working with horticultural businesses in a hands-on manner to support business growth. Meanwhile, a competitively selected Masterclass Program is set to provide a select group of businesses with targeted and intensive learning opportunities geared towards the needs of larger horticultural businesses.

Business foundations program

As part of this exciting new initiative, AUSVEG SA will team up with leading independent not-for-profit financial advisory organisation Rural Business Support (RBS), which will provide a team of trained advisors to work with industry to improve business support and training. Under the initiative, growers will be able to access support and advice from the RBS team to review current practices.

RBS can provide assistance in the following areas:

  • Business planning.
  • Financial and cash flow review.
  • Succession planning.
  • Strategic advisory.
  • Strategic planning.

As part of this initiative, participating businesses will be able to undertake a formal business assessment and work with the team at RBS to develop a comprehensive business strategy.

Masterclass program

The AUSVEG SA Masterclass Program was being held over two days on Thursday 21 April and Thursday 12 May 2022.

The goal of the program was to expose South Australian horticultural producers to advanced level business concepts and knowledge that they can take back to their business. Growers participating in this program will be entitled to two full days training and some targeted follow up support as part of this program.

Masterclass 1: Managing Risk Scenarios in Horticultural Enterprises

Leading horticultural risk management advisor Julian Robinson from Crux Point provided a one-day masterclass on risk management for horticultural producers. This module comprised a half-day workshop with an opportunity for short follow-up consultation sessions with participating businesses to discuss issues relevant to their businesses.

Key topics included:

  • Principles of crisis management.
  • Developing strategies to effectively respond to crisis events.
  • Examine relevant case studies across horticulture both in Australia and internationally as well as lessons learned.

For further information on Crux Point, please click here.

Masterclass 2: Advanced Negotiation Skills for Horticultural Businesses

Edwina Swan from leading business negotiating firm ENS International provided a full-day workshop focusing on business negotiating principles for horticulture producers. Edwina has significant experience in working with horticulture producers throughout Australia to improve negotiation techniques and is familiar with the issues and challenges particular to our sector.

Key topics included:

  • Building negotiation awareness and knowledge of theory.
  • Coaching each individual as part of the cohort to persuade and shape communication to lead stakeholders to a preferred position.
  • Providing confidence on managing and diffusing conflict or deadlocks whilst still achieving objectives and maintaining productive relationships.
  • Building commercial strategy with structured process skills to successfully undertake complex negotiation.

For further information on ENS International, please click here.

Gawler River flood protection

Assistance is now available for landholders adjacent to the Gawler River who would like their section of the river assessed for potential clean up, levy strengthening and other flood protection activities under a new program run by the Department of Environment and Water.

The program is being delivered as part of the $9 million in flood mitigation investments allocated by the SA Government towards the Gawler River and VegNET SA is assisting to ensure this vital assistance makes its way to affected landholders.

The program

Urban Planning consultancy URPS are coordinating this project and growers will need to express their interest directly with them to participate in this exciting new project.

How it works

Following receipt of a landowner expression of interest, URPS will contact the landowner and arrange a site visit. At this site visit, a visual assessment of the area of the Gawler River within their land parcel will be made.

Should the land parcel be selected to be a part of the project, URPS will work with the landowner on the scope of works, timing for delivery and requirements for access to their property.

Works are dependent on the condition of the Gawler River within an individual property. Works may include excavation and earth works to repair levee banks, removal of silt from the channel or vegetation removal and trimming. In some cases, no work will be required.

The project is being funded by the State Government. There won’t be any cost to property owners in the delivery of the works.

To express your interest, please contact URPS Senior Consultant Rebecca Gosling on 0431 946 022 or email, or Principal Consultant Jane Wilson on 0422 361 669 or email

Find out more

Please contact AUSVEG SA CEO Jordan Brooke- Barnett on 0404 772 308 or email

VegNET 3.0 is a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund.

This project has been funded by Hort Innovation using the vegetable research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government.

Project Number: VG21000