2017 European Industry Leadership and Development Mission now open for expressions of interest!

Expressions of interest for the 2017 European Industry Leadership and Development Mission, to be held from 4-11 February 2017, are now open!

The Mission will take a delegation of growers to the 2017 Berlin Fruit Logistica Trade Fair, which hosts over 2,000 exhibitors and is the leading international meeting place for the fresh produce industry. Growers will also have the chance to visit the global headquarters of a world-leading agribusiness. For more information on the Mission, click here to view the flyer.

To express your interest in taking part in this great opportunity, please e-mail info@ausveg.com.au.

Participation on the 2017 European Industry Leadership and Development Mission will be funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the National Vegetable Levy, voluntary contributions from Australian vegetable growing operations and funds from the Australian Government.


Workshop: From Precision Agriculture to Decision Agriculture

Are you interested in “Big Data” and how this will impact the vegetable industry? Do you have an interest in precision agriculture? If so, you are invited to attend a Precision to Decision producer workshop in Gatton, Queensland. There is no cost to attend the workshop.

This workshop aims to understand how data, including data analytics and various data systems, is currently used and its potential to be used in future business decisions impacting on agricultural productivity and profitability. The workshop also aims to identify future needs and opportunities for industry, including any opportunity for cross-industry collaboration in supporting big data systems for Australian agriculture. The workshop will provide strategic direction for investment in big data systems and analytics.

Date/time: 9:00am – 2:00pm, Monday 5 December 2016
Location: Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre, 4 Lake Apex Drive, Gatton QLD

For more information, including details on the workshop’s agenda and objectives, please click here. The organisers welcome vegetable industry members to attend this workshop.

The workshop organisers request that participants register interest in attending by 28 November 2016. To register, please click here. Completed registration forms can be returned to admin@cropprotectionaustralia.com or faxed to 02 6282 1219.

For further information, please contact Dr Anthony Kachenko at Hort Innovation on 0429 221 443 or at anthony.kachenko@horticulture.com.au.

This workshop is funded under the project Accelerating Precision Agriculture to Decision Agriculture through the Rural R&D for Profit program, the National Vegetable Levy and matched funding from the Federal Government.


2017 Hort Connections Trade Show now open for business!

Businesses looking to be a part of 2017 Hort Connections, the premier event covering the entire Australian horticulture supply chain co-hosted by AUSVEG, PMA Australia-New Zealand, Australian Organic, Onions Australia and Irrigation Australia, should act quickly to lock in a booth at the Hort Connections Trade Show.

The Trade Show, which will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 15-17 May 2017, will offer businesses the opportunity to display their products and services to more than 2,000 delegates across three days. Over 50 per cent of booths at the trade show have already been secured, so act now!

To ensure your business is visible at this huge event, download the Exhibitor Registration Brochure and submit your form to AUSVEG via convention@ausveg.com.au or via fax to (03) 9882 6722.

All industry members are also invited to visit the official website for the 2017 Hort Connections event, which is now live! The website includes an introductory program for Hort Connections delegates and an overview of this exciting event. Updates will be made to the website as the event takes shape, so be sure to check in regularly to keep up-to-date with the latest developments.


A&D Weighing sign up to support vegetable industry


AUSVEG is proud to announce the commencement of a Strategic Partnership with A&D Weighing, manufacturers of high-precision scales and balance equipment.

Founded in 1946 as Mercury Scales in Adelaide, A&D Weighing has grown to be an Australian leader in the supply of electronic weighing scales, balances, metal detectors, checkweighers and weighing systems.

A&D Weighing’s range includes industrial scales, warehouse scales and weight capture software, and AUSVEG looks forward to working with the company for the benefit of the Australian vegetable industry.

For more information about A&D Weighing, please visit its website.


Healthy Food Partnership Executive Committee meeting

The Healthy Food Partnership recently held a meeting of its Executive Committee on 11 November 2016.

The Partnership is tasked with improving the dietary habits of Australians by making healthier food choices easier and more accessible, and with raising awareness of appropriate food choices and portion sizes. At its latest meeting, the Executive Committee agreed on a series of principles to guide the Partnership’s working groups in their work to promote healthy eating among Australians. To read a communique with a full list of these principles, please click here.

The Partnership comprises representatives from the Australian Food and Grocery Council, AUSVEG, Coles, Dairy Australia, Dietitians Association of Australia, Food Standards Australia New Zealand, Meat and Livestock Australia, Metcash, National Heart Foundation of Australia, Public Health Association of Australia, the Quick Service Restaurant Forum and Woolworths, and is chaired by the Assistant Minister for Rural Health, the Hon Dr David Gillespie.


Sponsored – Wet weather hasn’t dampened demand for Toro’s new Hippo Clamps

Australia may have experienced one of its wettest years on record, but that hasn’t stopped irrigation experts across the nation lining up to get their hands on Toro’s new Hippo Clamps.

These innovative stainless steel irrigation clamps provide a quick and secure fastening solution for LD poly pipe and drip tube systems.

David Busnello of Agri Australis (a subsidiary of the Ferrero Group) is one of the many professionals who is eager to test his Hippo Clamps out. While it’s only early days on his hazelnut farm, he’s already impressed by the unique locking mechanism.

“The latching device is very intuitive, which is something other clamps lack. The positive lock means we can hear when the clamp is locked into place, and once it’s locked in, it’s locked tight,” David says.

To learn more about Toro’s new Hippo Clamps or request a free sample, visit hippoclamps.com.au or see your local Toro dealer.

Producing premium potato foods in New Zealand

The New Zealand Institute of Plant and Food Research Limited (PFR) Premium Potato Foods program covers a wide breadth of research areas, including sensory, food ingredients, bioactives, nutrition and health, and developing new products from waste streams.

It was established in response to the New Zealand potato industry’s goal of significantly increasing domestic consumption and the export of New Zealand’s potatoes by 2025.

The research has produced some encouraging findings, including the identification that consumers are able to discern different flavours in potatoes, and have clear preferences for the flavours of different cultivars. This information will be combined with metabolite data from the same samples, providing a picture of which compounds correlate with the flavours liked by consumers. In turn, this knowledge will be used to inform the breeding program.

A full profile on this research, which was funded by the Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust and PFR’S Core Research funds, can be found in the latest edition of Potatoes Australia magazine. To read this edition, please click here. To read all editions of Potatoes Australia, please click here.

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


VegPRO wants to hear from you!

Are you in the vegetable industry and can’t get the training you need, or can’t find the right training for your staff? As part of VegPRO, the vegetable industry’s own training initiative, RM Consulting Group (RMCG) has prepared a short survey for industry members to fill in and let RMCG know their training requirements. To take this survey, please click here.

RMCG is also looking for training providers as part of the VegPRO project. If you can design and deliver training, are familiar with adult learning techniques, and want to be added to RMCG’s training providers list, then please click here to fill out a form to be contacted by RMCG.

VG15028 Vegetable Industry Education and Training Initiative is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


2016 Practicalities for Exporting Vegetables Symposium – follow-up questions

Following the successful 2016 Practicalities for Exporting Vegetables Symposium which was held in conjunction with the 2016 National Horticulture Convention, AUSVEG is providing an opportunity for all delegates that attended the event to ask export-related follow-up questions to speakers that presented on the day. Please click here for information on how to submit a question.

The 2016 Practicalities for Exporting Vegetables Symposium was funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


AgFutures – new speakers confirmed

The AgFutures – Innovation and Investment Conference, hosted by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, will be held in Brisbane from 22-23 November 2016.

With an outstanding line-up of national and international speakers, this conference will showcase two critically-important areas driving industry development and expansion – agri-tech opportunities and global investment within the sector.

AgFutures 2016 has recently announced the addition of several new speakers to the conference program, including:

  • Alexandra Gartmann, CEO and Managing Director – Rural Bank
  • Dr Hugh Bradlow, Chief Scientist – Telstra Corporation
  • Sam Tretheway, General Manager – Sprout X
  • Kim Morison – Blue Sky Water Partners

For more details on AgFutures 2016, including the conference program and information on how to book tickets, please click here.


Consultation for Vegetable Strategic Investment Plan

As part of the process for producing a new Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for the vegetable industry, Hort Innovation has engaged specialist consulting firm Consulting & Implementation Services (CIS). During this process they will meet with growers and industry to ensure the SIP accurately reflects how to best spend the R&D levy to maximise the industry’s funding priorities for the next five years.

Please note that the time and location of the workshop to be held on Wednesday 16 November 2016 have been changed to align with the Soil Wealth workshop being held on the same day. The new details for the workshop are:

Location: C-Wise Facility Meeting Room
139 Nambeelup Road, Nambeelup WA 6207
Date/time: 11:00am – 12:30pm, Wednesday 16 November

RSVPs can be sent to veg@consultingis.com.au.

Growers are encouraged to attend their local workshop so that they can have their say on where levy funding should be spent. These workshops provide one of the best opportunities available over the next five years to guide levy investment for the vegetable industry, and any grower interested in how their levy is spent is strongly encouraged to attend. The workshops will also provide a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and hear about developments in the vegetable industry.

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


Australian fresh produce industry recognised by Foodbank Australia

The Australian fresh produce industry has been recognised for its distinguished service in fighting hunger at the annual Foodbank awards, which were presented at the Australian Food and Grocery Council Industry Leaders Forum on Tuesday 8 November.

The Foodbank Purple Beret Award acknowledges the fruit and vegetable industry’s support in helping to raise awareness of food insecurity and providing fresh produce to help fight hunger in the community.

The award was presented by Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs Senator Zed Seselja and was received by AUSVEG Director Mr Geoff Knuckey, PMA Australia-New Zealand CEO Mr Darren Keating and Costa Farms and Logistics General Manager Mr Shanon Williams.

AUSVEG is proud to have accepted the award on behalf of the Australian fresh produce industry, which has doubled its fruit and vegetable donations to Foodbank in the last five years.

Foodbank is Australia’s largest hunger relief organisation. Through collaboration with the Australian food and grocery industry, Foodbank is able to deliver 166,000 meals per day to 2,400 charities and 1,500 schools for distribution to people in need of food relief. For more information on Foodbank, please click here.


Potato Strategic Investment Plan – survey online for industry comment

As part of the process for producing a new Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for the potato industry, Hort Innovation has engaged specialist strategic planning consultancy McKINNA et al to meet with growers and industry to accurately reflect the industry’s funding priorities for R&D in the next five years.

A survey has been developed to let growers have their say on priority areas for levy investment in the potato industry. To take this survey online, please click here.

Interested parties can also click here to download a copy of the survey, or email strategicinsights@mckinna.com.au to have their voices heard.

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


New Nielsen consumer research and presentation dates

As part of Hort Innovation’s research project VG15019 Baseline Demographic Research for the Vegetable Industry, also known as Nielsen Homescan data, a series of presentations has been organised with the assistance of the National Vegetable Extension Network.

These presentations will briefly explain the project, its data and the resulting analysis to those unfamiliar with the data, with case studies of how the analysis could be applied to a growing operation, focusing on the commodities grown in the regions in which the presentations are being held. There will also be a brief opportunity for any interested growers to speak with the Nielsen data team one-on-one.

Location Time/date Commodities
John Cranwell’s farm
105 Murray Road, Nairne SA 5252
10:00am – 12:00 noon
Friday 18 November
Focus on broccoli/broccolini, cauliflower and value-added items. RSVP to ausvegsa@ausveg.com.au
South Australian Produce Market Boardroom
Burma Road, Pooraka SA 5095
3:00pm – 4:30pm
Friday 18 November
Focus on capsicums, cucumbers and leaf salads. RSVP to ausvegsa@ausveg.com.au
Molongle Creek Caravan Park
573 Molongle Beach Road, Gumlu QLD 4805
Wednesday 23 November
RSVP to idm@bowengumlugrowers.com.au
Grower Development Program Leadership Summit
Botanical Room 1 & 2, Crown Perth, Great Eastern Highway, Burswood WA 6100
Friday 25 November
RSVP to finance@vegetableswa.com.au
Vanderfield Workshed
23 Enterprise Street, Bundaberg QLD 4670
Tuesday 29 November
RSVP to kylie.jackson@bfvg.com.au
Sweetpotato Growers’ Association AGM
Burnett Riverside Motel, 7 Quay St, Bundaberg QLD 4670
Wednesday 30 November
RSVP to aspg.sec@gmail.com


Nielsen Homescan data for the vegetable industry is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


Masterclass to give insights into value-adding for fresh produce and food safety

A masterclass will be hosted in Hobart on Wednesday 30 November 2016 by two food safety research centres – the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture Food Safety Centre, and the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand.

This masterclass will give food safety professionals, product technologists and food product entrepreneurs insights into tools which can be used to add value to fresh products and take their products into new categories.

Date/time: 9:00am – 1:00pm, Wednesday 30 November 2016
Location: Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture – Hobart campus

For more information on the event, please click here.


AUSVEG in the media

AUSVEG Interim CEO Simon Bolles appeared in print media this week commenting on AUSVEG’s Strategic Partnership with Rijk Zwaan, one of the world’s leading producers of vegetable seed. Mr Bolles noted that the horticulture industries of Australia and the Netherlands have a strong relationship and that this partnership would benefit Australian growers.

AUSVEG National Manager – Public Affairs Jordan Brooke-Barnett appeared on radio this week emphasising the need for all political parties involved in the backpacker tax debate to come to a quick resolution and avoid further damage to growers. Mr Brooke-Barnett also appeared in print and on radio this week discussing issues with competition law in the Australian horticulture industry, including the Horticulture Code of Conduct and new laws protecting small businesses from unfair contract terms.

As AUSVEG SA – State Manager, Mr Brooke-Barnett also appeared on television in South Australia commenting on proposals for new levees to be installed to protect low-lying properties along the Gawler River. The proposals follow the recent devastating floods in northern Adelaide, with victims of the floods also calling for a major cleanup of the river.

AUSVEG spokesperson Dimi Kyriakou appeared on radio this week discussing the results of levy-funded research, commissioned by Horticulture Innovation Australia, which identified new meal opportunities for vegetable consumption. Ms Kyriakou noted that the key to connecting with consumers is to suggest meals that combine new ideas with old habits.

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.