Omnia comes on board to support Australian vegetable and potato growers

AUSVEG is proud to announce a new Strategic Partnership with Omnia Specialities Australia, a leading manufacturer of humate and fulvate products based in Victoria.
Omnia has a company philosophy based around sustainable agriculture with an emphasis on optimising the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil.
Omnia Specialities Australia is a leading manufacturer of humate and fulvate products based in Victoria Australia. Omnia Specialities has been manufacturing humate soil conditioners and fertilisers in Australia since 1990. Only the best quality leonardite is used in the specialised process, yielding the most concentrated humic acids in the world. Omnia’s product range has expanded to include trace elements, foliar fertilisers and kelp products, all with an organic base. In addition, Omnia imports a full range of water soluble fertilisers distributed through a network of port stores.

For more information about Omnia, please click here to visit its website.


Notification to increase Vegetable Industry Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR) Levy – Objection period open

AUSVEG intends for the EPPR Levy to be increased from 0% to 0.001% of the value at the first point of sale for vegetable produce.
This is only for the Vegetable EPPR Levy – there is a separate Levy in place for potatoes that will remain at 0%.
The 30-day objection period will close on 19 April. Objections can be sent to All objections will receive a response.
If you would like further information, please contact the AUSVEG National Manager – Scientific Affairs, Dr Jessica Lye at (03) 9882 0277, or email or contact AUSVEG Assistant National Manager – Scientific Affairs, Nicholas Schmidt at (03) 9882 0277, or email


Two weeks left for National Horticulture Convention early bird rates

Industry members who have not yet registered for the 2016 National Horticulture Convention are encouraged to do so quickly to ensure they secure the early bird rate before it closes on Monday 25 April.
As well as catering for vegetable, potato, apple and pear growers, this year’s event has expanded to include persimmon growers, Queensland’s horticulture industry and a range of market and supply chain members, paving the way for the 2016 National Horticulture Convention to be the biggest horticulture event in the Southern Hemisphere.
To find out more, view the delegate registration brochure or sign up online at


Put your feet up at the Women in Horticulture High Tea


AUSVEG is pleased to announce the 2016 Women in Horticulture High Tea, to be held as part of the 2016 National Horticulture Convention. The High Tea, to be held at the luxurious Palazzo Versace, will bring together women in horticulture to celebrate their invaluable contributions to our great industry.
To register for this event, please click here. For more information, please email or call AUSVEG on (03) 9882 0277.


Sign-up now for the Global Innovations in Horticulture seminar

Following on from the successful 2015 Seminar, Australian levy-paying vegetable growers will have the chance to listen to presentations from the world’s leading innovation experts at the 2016 Global Innovations in Horticulture Seminar on Thursday 23 June at RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast.
The Seminar will take place prior to the 2016 National Horticulture Convention at RACV Royal Pines from 23-25 June.
The Seminar will feature nine expert speakers from around the world on topics including precision agriculture, processing machinery, robotic technology, genetic modification, agriculture innovation research and plant breeding. Previous seminars have been very well received by growers, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to benefit from the expertise of these leading thinkers in global horticulture.
Funded positions are available for attendance at this Seminar for levy-paying growers. For further details on the event, please click here to download the event flyer, including the full list of speakers and their topics. Interested parties can also contact AUSVEG Global Innovations Coordinator Dylan Komishon on (03) 9882 0277, fax on (03) 9882 6722 or by email at

The Global Innovations in Horticulture Seminar is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.



2016 Horticulture Field Day: Celebrating grower innovation

The 2016 National Horticulture Convention will conclude with the Horticulture Field Day on Sunday 26 June. This year, the field day is a celebration of innovation and adaptation in horticulture.
Delegates will be able to view leading farms in the Kalbar region and hear from representatives of each farm and other members of the industry.
The event is free and available only to those who have registered for the National Horticulture Convention.
Spaces are strictly limited so be sure to register your interest with AUSVEG promptly. For those who wish to leave the farm tour early, a mini bus will be available to take attendees back to RACV Royal Pines after lunch. Morning tea and lunch will be provided.

When: Sunday 26 June, 8:15am-3:30pm
Where: Bus will depart from RACV Royal Pines at 8:30am sharp. Farm visits will take place in the Kalbar region

To register, please contact For more information, call AUSVEG on (03) 9882 0277.



AUSVEG attends dinner with Kelly O’Dwyer

AUSVEG attended a dinner this week hosted by Mr Jason Wood MP, Member for La Trobe, with the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business the Hon. Kelly O’Dwyer MP also attending the dinner as the guest of honour.
Ms O’Dwyer recently announced changes to Section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act to strengthen its ability to prosecute anti-competitive behaviour, and AUSVEG looks forward to continuing to work with Ms O’Dwyer on issues affecting small and medium enterprises in the vegetable industry.

Applications for 2017 Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships now open

Nuffield Australia has announced that applications are officially open for the 2017 round of farming scholarships.
Approximately 30 scholarships are on offer to primary producers and managers. These scholarships include attendance at the 2017 Contemporary Scholars Conference in Brazil, a choice to attend one of six Global Focus Programs, travelling with other scholars over a six-week period and an eight-week individual study program.
A $30,000 bursary is available for successful applicants to study a topic relevant to their business and industry. The tenure is 16 weeks over two years, with flexibility provided.
A scholarship is on offer for a levy-paying vegetable grower anywhere in Australia, funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.
To access the scholarship application brochure, please click here. More information is also available in the “How to Apply” section of the website.


This communication has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


Seed potato certification projects

A previous levy-funded project (PT13010), and a subsequent meeting of seed potato industry stakeholders in Melbourne in September 2015, highlighted that a more independent system of governance is required for regulators to have confidence in Australia’s seed potato certification system. Independent governance is also important for both producers and customers to have confidence that the system is robust and has an independent means of ensuring participants are compliant with the system.
For more information on PT13010 and its outcomes, please click here to read a report on the project published in the December/January 2016 edition of Potatoes Australia (page 16).
Hort Innovation has subsequently commissioned two complementary projects on seed certification designed to strengthen Australia’s seed certification system to benefit all participants.
Project PT15004 is looking at the technical criteria of the current standard. As part of this project, a website has been developed to receive submissions from stakeholders. To access this website, please click here.
Project PT15005, operating in parallel with PT15004, is looking at governance arrangements across the existing certification systems to ensure they meet the standard of independence and audit required by regulatory authorities and participants. This project, led by RMCG, welcomes input from interested stakeholders.

Interested parties can contact Donna Lucas of RMCG at, or Anthony Kachenko of Hort Innovation at

This communication was funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


2016 AUSVEG VIC Awards for Excellence

Join us to celebrate the Victorian vegetable and potato industries with dinner, drinks and entertainment provided at the 2016 AUSVEG VIC Awards for Excellence. The event will be attended by leading supply chain representatives and growers from across the state and will see a number of leading growers recognised for their contribution to the industry.
Awards will be presented for 10 different categories, including the Victorian Grower of the Year, proudly sponsored by E.E. Muir & Sons; the Women in Horticulture Award, proudly sponsored by Boomaroo Nurseries; and the Environmental Award, proudly sponsored by Werribee South Farm Supplies.
For further information on this event, please visit the AUSVEG VIC events website.


AUSVEG Economic Confidence Survey

AUSVEG conducts a quarterly economic confidence survey to understand and then communicate the impacts of various economic factors on the business operations of vegetable growers. This helps AUSVEG identify the current business conditions that vegetable growers face and track grower sentiment of these economic factors over time.
Information from the survey is collated in aggregate form and used to advocate strongly on behalf of the industry. AUSVEG believes that communicating grower sentiment in relation to economic factors will assist to better inform the public about how economic conditions can positively or negatively impact on vegetable growing businesses.

This quarter’s survey, covering the quarter to March 2016, is now open, and takes approximately three minutes to complete. To take the survey, please click here.

This communication was funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


Practicalities for Exporting Vegetables Symposium

On Sunday 26 June 2016, AUSVEG will host a symposium to discuss the practicalities for exporting fresh vegetables for Australian vegetable growers. This event will run immediately after the 2016 National Horticulture Convention.

The purpose of this event is to provide a practical overview of the export process, while also providing insights into the demand for Australian vegetables in export markets. This practical forum will follow on from two successful forums in 2015: the Malaysia and United Arab Emirates Symposium and the South East Asia Symposium.
The speaker program will include presentations from across the export supply chain, representatives from Austrade and the Australian Government, as well as vegetable growers sharing their experiences of the export process. This Symposium will enable growers to develop practical skills to assist with exporting fresh produce.
Vegetable levy-paying growers can apply to have associated travel and accommodation costs covered. Expressions of interest are now open.

Please click here to download the flyer. To express your interest, contact AUSVEG on (03) 9882 0277 or email


The Practicalities for Exporting Vegetables Symposium is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.



Register now for the 2016 AUSVEG SA and William Buck Vegetable Industry Dinner and Awards for Excellence

AUSVEG SA will host the 2016 AUSVEG SA and William Buck Vegetable Industry Dinner and Awards for Excellence on Thursday 28 April from 6pm at the Arkaba Hotel, Adelaide, South Australia.
Leading supply chain and grower participants from throughout the state will come together to celebrate the South Australian industry and recognise leading growers for their contributions.

RSVPs can be sent to AUSVEG SA State Manager Jordan Brooke-Barnett at or 0404 772 308.

To view the flyer for the event, please click here, or to fill out a nomination form, please click here.


New R&D reports available on InfoVeg

InfoVeg is a comprehensive database that has been designed to bridge the gap between researchers and growers. It acts as a comprehensive resource for growers to easily access technical information and research funded by the National Vegetable Levy and National Potato Levies.

The following reports were published recently on the InfoVeg database.

  • Controlling multiple heading and transplant shock in lettuce (VG12017)
  • Vegetables Australia (continuation of VG09095) (VG12033)
  • Coordinated Knowledge and Industry Development Program (VG12071)
  • Conveying the positive social, economic, environmental and other benefits of Australian vegetables (VG12090)
  • Development of a Vegetable Education Kit (VG13089)
  • Market research for investigating opportunities for more vegetable meal occasions (VG14026)
  • Identifying and understanding the factors influencing bioactive levels in vegetables (VG14027)
  • Potato Industry Extension Program (PT11004)

Click here to sign up or log in to your InfoVeg account to access the reports.

InfoVeg is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy, National Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.



AUSVEG attends 2016 Growing Leaders Dinner

The 2016 crop of Growing Leaders have held the first of their three residentials for the year, with the three-day residential in Melbourne that included panel discussions on leadership and a visit to the Melbourne markets and culminating in a dinner attended by AUSVEG CEO Richard Mulcahy and other AUSVEG representatives.

At the dinner, Mr Mulcahy announced an award for a 2016 Growing Leader to attend the 2016 National Horticulture Convention.

Growing Leaders is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


First Lady of the United States promotes innovative vegetable industry

The First Lady of the United States, Mrs Michelle Obama, this week promoted the innovative practices being undertaken in the international vegetable industry following a visit to Philips Academy Charter School. Philips Academy has established an indoor vertical farm using AeroFarms technology, which grows plants aeroponically by suspending them in mid-air and applying an atomized nutrient solution to their roots.
Mrs Obama tweeted about the Academy’s indoor farm to her 4.1 million followers on Twitter, highlighting how the technology directly connects schoolchildren with the vegetable production process in the classroom.
AeroFarms CEO David Rosenberg presented at the 2015 Global Technologies in Horticulture Seminar, speaking about the next generation of farming with aeroponics. For information on the 2016 Global Innovation in Horticulture Seminar, featuring speakers on topics including precision agriculture, robotic technology and agriculture innovation research, please click here.

The Weekly Update thanks AUSVEG alumnus Stefan Oberman, Chief of Staff at AeroFarms, for letting us know of the First Lady’s tweet.


AUSVEG in the media

AUSVEG CEO Richard Mulcahy continued to appear in print and broadcast media this week welcoming the announcement that state and territory ministers have supported the Federal Government’s proposed changes to Country of Origin Labelling laws. Mr Mulcahy said the decision means Australian consumers will have a better idea of where their food comes from, with companies now having to come clean about the origin of imported ingredients.
Mr Mulcahy also continued to appear in media commenting on the decision by Potatoes New Zealand to withdraw its application for market access for fresh potatoes for processing into Australia, saying the decision comes as a great relief to the Australian potato industry as it will help to protect the industry from the devastating Zebra chip disease, which is present in New Zealand.
The impact of vegetable imports on Australia’s vegetable industry also continued to be a hot topic of discussion in the media this week, with AUSVEG Economist Andrew Kruup continuing to appear across print and broadcast media outlets commenting on the damage done to the domestic industry.
AUSVEG SA State Manager Jordan Brooke-Barnett appeared in broadcast media supporting the South Australian Government’s trade program, including comments on the practicalities of gaining access to China for horticultural commodities. Mr Brooke-Barnett also made comments in the media on the recent drop in approvals for 457 skilled migration visas, emphasising the need to ensure that the application and approval processes for these visas are suitable for both workers and employers.
The newly announced joint initiative between AUSVEG and hunger relief organisation Foodbank also appeared in the media this week, with AUSVEG spokesperson Dimi Kyriakou commenting in print and broadcast media on the effort to bring Foodbank together with Australian growers to donate their excess produce to Foodbank’s hunger relief work. Ms Kyriakou also continued to appear in broadcast media to discuss the results from the latest Project Harvest consumer research study, which indicates that healthy eating is driving new trends in Australian food consumption.

Communication of levy funded R&D activities is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy, National Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.