AUSVEG Weekly Update – 28 November 2017
In this edition
- Hort Connections update: Array of co-hosts already on board for cross-industry event
- Resource: 2017 Grower Success Stories showcase real results of levy research
- Industry update: The impact of higher energy prices on potato processors
- Resource: New edition of Vegetables Australia now available online
- Hort Connections update: Trade Show now over 60 per cent sold out
- Project update: New consumer research on native veg varieties
- Hort Innovation update: Learn how Hort Innovation invests levy funds
- Project update: CSIRO launches app to help Australians eat more vegetables
- Workshop: POSTPONED – VegNET NSW IPM discussion (Kemps Creek, NSW)
- Grant opportunity: Coles Nurture Fund offers up to $500,000 for farm innovation
- Project update: Industry missions to USA and Europe – Applications now open!
- Project update: 2018 Growing Leaders program applications now open
- Webinar recording: Getting soil and nutrition management right with EnviroVeg
- Webinar: CHANGE OF DATE – Fusarium wilt management in vegetables
- Workshop: VegNET robotics field day (Richmond, NSW)
- Resource: New VegNET video – Integrated Pest Management of vegetable pests
- Industry update: Government announces funding for real-time plant pest surveillance
- Project update: EnviroVeg Pilot Program applications now open
- Economic update: Category and flavour bending
- Industry update: Veg growers see success at Australian Organic awards
- Survey: University of Canberra undertaking Regional Wellbeing Survey
- Resource: Mental health profile – SANE Australia
- Survey: 2017 Global Innovations in Horticulture feedback form
- Hort Innovation project opportunities
- The week’s top stories
- AUSVEG in the media
Hort Connections update: Array of co-hosts already on board for cross-industry event
As we approach Hort Connections 2018, to be held at the Brisbane Convention Centre from 18–20 June 2018, AUSVEG and PMA Australia-New Zealand are excited to announce that an array of co-hosts from across the fresh produce industry and supply chain have come on board!
Growcom, Apple and Pear Australia Limited, Nursery & Garden Industry Australia, Onions Australia, FMA/CMAA representing Australia’s fresh produce markets, and Australian Organic have all signed up as co-hosts for this cross-industry event, ensuring there will be a huge range of networking and business opportunities available for members of every sector in the fresh produce industry. Additional co-host announcements are expected to be made over the coming months.
To register for Hort Connections 2018 online, please click here. To explore the rest of the website, which will continue to be updated with more information as we get closer to this exciting event, please click here.
Vegetable feature article
Resource: 2017 Grower Success Stories showcase real results of levy research
The 2017 edition of Grower Success Stories – Real results from the vegetable R&D levy is now available online!
The annual Grower Success Stories highlight the real-world, on-farm results and impact of the strategic levy investments made through the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund. This year, it looks at seven industry members who are seeing improvements to their business as a result of this research and development:
- John Said (Fresh Select) and the benefits of industry investment into increasing growers’ export capability. (VG16061)
- Steve Allie (The Loose Leaf Lettuce Company) and the impact of weed management practices supported through levy-funded projects. (VG15070)
- Jamie Jurgens (Jurgens Produce) and how his involvement in the Soil Wealth project has increased his production quality and yield. (VG13076)
- Val and Sam Micallef (Alandale Produce) and the cost savings they’ve seen from their participation in the VegNET project. (VG15049)
- Josh Wing (Harvest Moon) and how he has applied the knowledge he gained from a levy-funded study tour to New Zealand and expanded his networks. (VG15704)
- Lisa Brassington (Peninsula Fresh Organics) and the benefits she’s receiving from taking part in the Masterclass in Horticultural Business. (LP15001)
We’ll be publishing short bites from each of the success stories in upcoming editions of the Weekly Update, but to read the full booklet online right now, please click here.
You can also read editions of the Grower Success Stories stretching back to 2013 on the AUSVEG website – just click the ‘category’ tab, check the ‘Vegetable Grower Success Stories’ box, and click ‘search’!
Potato feature article
Industry update: The impact of higher energy prices on potato processors
Rising energy prices have dominated political discussions recently as Australian growers and consumers continue to feel the impact on their bottom lines. The potato processing industry is not immune to this issue, and has witnessed a triple digit increase to energy costs in the sector.
With potato processing being a low margin industry, this is forcing processors to look for new ways to increase the efficiency of their energy usage and manage these increasing costs. Potatoes Australia spoke to three potato processors – McCain Foods, Marvel Packers and Snack Brands Australia – about their response to rising energy prices in Australia, as well as their forecasts for what impact it could have on the industry’s future.
The full article is available in the October/November edition of Potatoes Australia. This edition and all previous editions of Potatoes Australia are available on the AUSVEG website. To subscribe to receiving hard copies of Potatoes Australia, please contact AUSVEG at email@example.com with your preferred mailing address.
Resource: New edition of Vegetables Australia now available online
The November/December 2017 edition of Vegetables Australia magazine is now available!
In this issue, we profile Victorian growers Craig and Anne Arnott and their great experiences with industry study tours, take a look at the Invisible Farmer project highlighting women in agriculture and talk to young grower Austin Lenord from Koala Farms in Queensland.
The edition also features an in-depth look at the project RD&E program for control, eradication and preparedness for Vegetable leafminer (MT16004), the cauliflower edition of Veggie Stats, and an interview with the industry’s new National TPP Coordinator, AUSVEG’s Alan Nankivell – and on top of all that, there’s a huge range of other R&D content and industry news.
To read the issue online, or to read any previous edition of Vegetables Australia, please visit the AUSVEG website. To subscribe to receive hard copies of the magazine, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your preferred mailing address.
Hort Connections update: Trade Show now over 60 per cent sold out
Booth spaces at the massive Hort Connections 2018 Trade Show, sponsored by FMA/CMAA representing Australia’s fresh produce markets, are already over 60 per cent sold!
There will be nearly 300 booth spaces on show in the 2018 Trade Show, with a huge range of organisations already signed up to forge new connections and exhibit their cutting-edge products and services. Check out the online map to learn about the exhibitors who have already signed up from across the entire fresh produce industry and supply chain.
Spaces at the Trade Show, part of Hort Connections 2018 being held at the Brisbane Convention Centre from 18–20 June 2018, will only sell out faster as we get closer to the event! If you or your organisation want to exhibit at this can’t-miss business destination for the Australian horticulture industry, contact Sam Clayfield on 03 9882 0277 or at email@example.com.
Project update: New consumer research on native veg varieties
New information is available about Australian demand for native food varieties after Hort Innovation and consumer research company Colmar Brunton worked with Aboriginal custodians and native food specialists to take a deep dive into what native vegetables appeal to consumers.
The research, which was a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund, showed that Australians have a sense of pride in native food, are curious about little-known produce varieties, and are largely keen to buy more.
By conducting online research, in-home interviews and sensory tests with consumers, Colmar Brunton was able to create profiles of consumer demand for selected native food varieties, including ways to increase their appeal to Australians. To read a handy summary of the research findings, please click here. For more information on the project, see the Hort Innovation website.
Hort Innovation update: Learn how Hort Innovation invests levy funds
Each year, Hort Innovation invests in research and development and marketing programs to provide benefit to Australian horticulture growers, the wider horticulture sector and the community. This includes investment of the vegetable and fresh potato research and development levies into projects that can help our industries deal with key issues and succeed into the future.
Hort Innovation has produced a short video showing how ideas from industry turn into investments using levy funds. The video also shows the processes that Hort Innovation follows to ensure that this funding delivers returns for the industry and is in the industry’s best interests.
If you pay the vegetable, fresh potato or other horticultural levy, this video will help explain how those funds turn into whole-of-industry benefits using ideas from Australian growers. Click here to watch!
Project update: CSIRO launches app to help Australians eat more vegetables
By setting app users a challenge to consume three serves of vegetables at dinner for 21 days in a row, the project is hoping to break entrenched routines and transform Australians’ eating habits to help them benefit from a vegetable-rich diet. The app also features educational resources, like a visual guide to vegetable serving sizes, vegetable recipes, nutritional information and motivational rewards.
Information gathered through the app will feed back into CSIRO’s study of Australians’ vegetable consumption. For more information about the project, which is a strategic levy investment through the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund, see the Hort Innovation website.
Workshop: POSTPONED – VegNET NSW IPM discussion (Kemps Creek, NSW)
The workshop to be held on Wednesday 29 November 2017 in Kemps Creek NSW discussing integrated pest management has been postponed.
A new date for the workshop, expected to be held in early 2018, will be shared with the industry when it is confirmed by VegNET New South Wales.
For more information on VegNET’s activities in New South Wales, being delivered locally by Greater Sydney Local Land Services as part of a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable fund, please see the VegNET NSW website.
Grant opportunity: Coles Nurture Fund offers up to $500,000 for farm innovation
A new round of grants and interest-free loans is now available through the Coles Nurture Fund (CNF), with applications open to access funding from the $10 million pool.
The CNF seeks to support small to medium Australian producers, farms and manufacturers that want to improve existing services or products and create new systems or processes. $5 million is available for grants, and a further $5 million is available for interest-free loans, with up to $500,000 available in any single grant or loan.
Australian growers have been successful in accessing funds in previous rounds, including Victorian vegetable growers Butler Market Gardens, who received an interest-free loan in 2015 to introduce new post-harvest technology into their operations.
Applications close on 19 January 2018. For more information, please see the Coles website.
Project update: Industry missions to USA and Europe – Applications now open!
AUSVEG is on the lookout for vegetable levy-paying growers who are interested in attending two upcoming Industry Leadership and Development Missions to the United States and Europe in February 2018!
This is a fantastic opportunity for Australian growers to be inspired by new technologies and innovations and develop networks that will benefit you and your business for years to come.
The mission to the United States will visit leading vegetable growing operations, research centres, agribusinesses and the World Ag Expo in California, Arizona and Florida from 3–16 February. The mission to Europe from 4–11 February will visit Berlin Fruit Logistica, the world’s leading international meeting place for the fresh produce trade, as well as the global headquarters of a world-leading agribusiness.
Expressions of interest can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org (please specify which mission you are interested in attending) or by calling us on 03 9882 0277. Costs are only $2,500 for growers (including GST) and cover air and land travel, single room accommodation and most meals. Please note that subsidised participation on this mission is only open to vegetable levy-paying growers and the itinerary and dates are subject to change.
Project update: 2018 Growing Leaders program applications now open
Applications are now open for the 2018 Growing Leaders program!
Funded by Hort Innovation through a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund, Growing Leaders is the only national leadership and development program tailored for the vegetable industry. Participants will be involved in a nationally strategic project, and outcomes for participants focus on personal, business and industry change and management.
Applications for the 2018 program are open until 15 January 2018. For more information, or to apply for the 2018 Growing Leaders program, please visit the Rural Training Initiatives website.
Webinar recording: Getting soil and nutrition management right with EnviroVeg
Healthy soil and correct nutrition management is essential to running a productive vegetable business and protecting the natural environment.
This informative and interactive webinar session, delivered as part of the Soil Wealth program, provided the latest updates on:
- The new EnviroVeg program, technical resources and how to get involved in the pilot program with Andrew Shaw (AUSVEG).
- The main benefits from being involved in EnviroVeg from a grower’s perspective with David Anderson (Supafresh).
- Technical insights into effective nitrogen management, including how to avoid wasting nitrogen and achieve the required productivity and vegetable quality with Dr Doris Blaesing (RMCG).
The webinar, which was enabled by a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund, offered a unique insight into how to manage vegetable soils and nutrition, with a focus on nitrogen.
To watch the webinar recording, please click here.
Webinar: CHANGE OF DATE – Fusarium wilt management in vegetables
Learn about the latest techniques in managing the soilborne disease fusarium wilt in vegetable crops, including solanaceous vegetables, legumes, cucurbits and sweetpotatoes. Interact with leading vegetable pathologist Dr Len Tesoriero to understand the latest ways of managing this disease to keep your plants in production for longer and to improve yield and pack-out rates.
Date: Thursday 7 December 2017
Time: 12:30pm–1:30pm (AEDT)
For more information on this webinar, please click here. To register for the webinar, please click here. This session is being facilitated through the Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection projects (delivered by RMCG and AHR), which are strategic levy investments under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund.
Workshop: VegNET robotics field day (Richmond, NSW)
Greater Sydney Local Land Services and the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics invite growers and industry members to a demonstration of the Robot for Intelligent Perception and Precision Application (RIPPA).
Attendees will see the RIPPA operating on a lettuce crop at the Greater Sydney Demonstration Farm in a demonstration of the machine’s current capabilities, including independent weeding.
Time/date: 12:00noon–2:30pm, Friday 1 December 2017
Location: Greater Sydney Demonstration Farm, Gate 6 Southee Road, Richmond NSW
This workshop is part of the VegNET project being delivered locally by Greater Sydney Local Land Services, and is a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund. For more information on the workshop, see the event flyer. To register to attend the event, please click here.
Resource: New VegNET video – Integrated Pest Management of vegetable pests
Applied Horticultural Research (AHR) has produced a series of videos communicating research and development outcomes and giving growers practical information about important on-farm processes as part of the strategic levy investment project VegNET, which is part of the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund.
In this video, Australian vegetable growers talk about how Integrated Pest Management has enhanced the way they achieve new and sustainable results in dealing with potentially ruinous vegetable pests, many of which had developed pesticide resistance.
To watch this video, please click here.
Industry update: Government announces funding for real-time plant pest surveillance
The Australian Government has announced $330,000 in funding for a trial of AusPestCheck as part of the National Plant Health Surveillance Program, which collects critical information on plant pests around Australia to support Australia’s plant industries.
AusPestCheck was developed by Plant Health Australia through a National Landcare Program Innovation Grant in 2014 and provides a real-time picture of pest numbers and spread, as well as displaying information collected from surveillance activities in agricultural and environmental settings.
This trial will enable automation of the capture, collation and sharing of accurate plant pest data collected by industry and state and territory governments and provided through AusPestCheck. For more information, please see the media statement by Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources the Hon Luke Hartsuyker MP.
Project update: EnviroVeg Pilot Program applications now open
The EnviroVeg program 2017–2022 is a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund that builds on the work of previous EnviroVeg projects while developing a new, collaborative and effective structure. Resources within the new program structure are currently being updated to harmonise elements from three industry environmental programs: EnviroVeg, Freshcare Environmental and Hort360.
The new project includes the EnviroVeg Pilot Program, a funded pathway through EnviroVeg to reach Freshcare Environmental certification and attain the best practice benefits of environmentally responsible, sustainable vegetable production. Applications are now open to take part in this pilot – to find out more and to register your interest, review and complete the What is the EnviroVeg Pilot Program – register your interest form and return to email@example.com.
EnviroVeg is an industry-led environmental best-practice management program for vegetable production businesses. It provides resources for sustainable growing techniques and represents vegetable businesses as responsible stewards of land, water and biodiversity. To find out more about EnviroVeg, review the What is the EnviroVeg Program factsheet.
Economic update: Category and flavour bending
The use of vegetables is expanding into new products and categories. Indications are that this is in response to increased consumer interest in food.
Willingness to experiment: In the September 2017 quarter, 89 per cent of vegetable buyers indicated that they like to try new food ideas and recipes. Novelty through new flavour combinations is welcomed by consumers, and this type of flavour profile innovation can be an opportunity to refresh traditional categories. In the breakfast category, vegetable components like sweetpotato flakes and kale breakfast toppers are being introduced, while Verival (in Germany) has launched an organic pumpkin and tomato porridge with vegetable pieces.
Sweet to savoury: Indications are that savoury vegetable elements are moving into traditionally sweet categories such as breakfast cereals, yoghurt and confectionery. This is a positive signal for vegetable growers as flavour innovation not only presents an opportunity to drive consumption, but also presents an opportunity to increase yields through the use of shoulder grade product.
Convenient nutrition: Growing demand for convenience combined with rising consumer demand for healthy, fresh food is driving sales of snacks with vegetable components. Waitrose UK has launched a range of low-sugar yoghurts flavoured with herbs and vegetables like beetroot, pumpkin, carrot and ginger.
Clean labelling trends are supporting the increased use of vegetables, where manufacturers are updating recipes to simplify the ingredients list and replace some ingredients with more ‘natural’ alternatives. With 87 per cent of MealpulseTM panellists trying to buy additive-free food in the September 2017 quarter, the use of vegetables to naturally colour products is becoming more common, like Nestlé confectionery colouring its Smarties with fruit and vegetable extracts.
This article was provided by Freshlogic as part of a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund.
Industry update: Veg growers see success at Australian Organic awards
AUSVEG would like to congratulate all nominees and winners at the recent 2017 Australian Organic Annual Awards, and especially the vegetable industry members who were recognised on the night for their hard work and dedication to organic production.
Three vegetable growers were among the 16 award winners on the night:
- Wayne and Natasha Shields (Peninsula Fresh Organics) – Chairman’s Award
- Tony Croft (Arahura Farms) – Hall of Fame Award
- Daniel Quattrocchi (Monika’s Organics) – Young Organic Leader Award
Other winners in the awards came from across the entire organic sector, including cosmetics, beverages, meat and other food and agribusiness products. For a full list of all awards and winners, please see the Australian Organic website.
Survey: University of Canberra undertaking Regional Wellbeing Survey
Each year the University of Canberra asks people about the quality of life in their community, their wellbeing, and their views about a number of issues affecting rural and regional communities.
This year involves a ‘pulse check’ survey: it’s shorter than previous years, but still tracks how quality of life is changing across Australia.
The survey is voluntary, confidential and anonymous, and closes at midnight on 21 December 2017. To take part in the survey, please click here. If you’d prefer to be mailed a paper copy of the survey, contact the University of Canberra on 1800 981 499.
Resource: Mental health profile – SANE Australia
There are a range of mental health services available for Australians to access help at any time of day. A number of resources are listed on the AUSVEG website, and profiles of these organisations will be featured in the AUSVEG Weekly Update.
SANE Australia is a national mental health charity working to support four million Australians affected by complex mental illness including schizophrenia, bipolar, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, OCD, PTSD and severe depression and anxiety. SANE’s programs include a helpline, a plethora of online resources and the SANE Media Centre, promoting responsible portrayal of mental illness and suicide in the media.
To contact the SANE Helpline, please call 1800 18 SANE (1800 18 7263). For more information on SANE, please see its website.
If you require emergency assistance, please contact 000.
Survey: 2017 Global Innovations in Horticulture feedback form
Following the success of the 2017 Global Innovations in Horticulture Seminar, industry members now have the chance to have their say on presentations from the seminar, as well as on future content for the 2018 seminar.
The 2018 seminar will take place during Hort Connections 2018, and will be held at the Brisbane Convention Centre on 20 June 2018. This seminar will feature nine of the world’s top experts on topics relating to innovative horticulture tech and science, and is delivered by AUSVEG through a strategic levy investment under Hort Innovation’s Vegetable Fund.
Click here to have your say on the topics covered in the 2017 seminar and contribute to the future direction of the seminar.
Funded positions are available for vegetable levy paying growers to attend the event in 2018. Growers who are interested in attending or who are looking for further details can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to express their interest in receiving a funded position.
Hort Innovation project opportunities
|Project code||Project title||Closing date|
|PH17000||Design and development of the Australian honey bee genetic improvement program||5pm (Sydney time)
Friday 1 December 2017
Join Hort Innovation’s delivery partner mailing list to receive email notifications of new opportunities by registering through its delivery partner registration form.
The week’s top stories
- Roundup weedkiller future in Australia not clear after EU renews glyphosate licence for only five years (Sarina Locke, ABC Rural)
- Queensland election: Labor to form majority government, Antony Green predicts (Elaine Ford, Nick Wiggins and staff, ABC News)
- Fruit and vegetable growers again in the spotlight over wage theft (Fran Kelly, Radio National)
- Woolworths agrees to labour hire firm blitz (Ben Butler, The Australian)
- Energy cartel laws waived by ACCC for food processors desperate to reduce costs (Sarina Locke, ABC Rural)
- ‘Overcrowded’ strawberry industry slams SA government for funding new farm (Sarah Maunder and Lucy Robinson, ABC South East SA)
- Barnaby Joyce returns $40,000 handed to him by Gina Rinehart (Natalie Kotsios, The Weekly Times)
- Conference aims to feed a hungry world (Ashley Walmsley, Good Fruit & Vegetables)
- Hartsuyker: ABS stats show “staggering” farm results (Colin Bettles, Good Fruit & Vegetables)
- Vegetables back in black as farm numbers decrease (North Queensland Register)
- Look beyond the Akubra: Farming isn’t quaint, it’s a hot bed of innovation (Verity Morgan-Schmidt, ABC Rural)
- Turnbull must plug biosecurity “leaky sieve” to protect farmers (Colin Bettles, Good Fruit & Vegetables)
- Arnold’s Fruit Market in Wodonga celebrates 125th birthday on November 29 (Jodie Bruton, Good Fruit & Vegetables)
- Wet summer predicted based on ant activity (Allan Thompson, The Weekly Times)
- Crop damage: Hail storms, rain sweep across west and central Victoria (Kath Sullivan, The Weekly Times)
- Sauerkraut lining to hail storm disaster for vegetable farmers who lost $200,000 of crops (Kim Honan, ABC Rural)
- Podcasts to listen to while you’re driving your tractor (Amy McCosker, ABC Rural)
AUSVEG in the media
AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside continued to appear in print this week discussing the latest release of data from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, showing that average farm cash income for vegetable growers has risen to its highest point in 10 years. Mr Whiteside noted that while this is a positive sign, many smaller growers are struggling to stay competitive in an increasingly consolidated industry. For more, please see the full story.