Peak industry body AUSVEG has applauded the formation of a united Horticulture Council to ensure that the interests of the Australian horticulture industry are effectively aligned with the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF).

The Council will work with the NFF to ensure that the issues that are affecting Australia’s horticulture growers are seriously considered as part of the national agricultural advocacy agenda and to better articulate industry concerns so that the NFF can support a more horticulture-focused message to government.

The Council will be represented by horticultural commodity groups AUSVEG, the Australian Blueberry Growers’ Association, Apple and Pear Australia Ltd, Dried Fruits Australia, Voice of Horticulture (representing its 21 members) and Summerfruits Australia Limited. The Victorian Farmers Federation, NSW Farmers and Growcom will also be represented on the policy forum.

AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside says that while AUSVEG will continue to advocate independently on a range of issues, having a mechanism for unified advocacy for all Australian agriculture, including horticulture, will increase the effectiveness of representation on cross-industry issues.

“Commodity groups in Australian horticulture do not exist in isolation – what affects vegetable growers also affects apple growers, blueberry growers and all other horticulture producers,” said Mr Whiteside.

“Yet despite there being a significant number of common issues, the horticulture industry has traditionally been highly fragmented. This has been reflected in its advocacy efforts, and has meant the industry has not been as effective as it could be when representing growers.

“By working with the NFF to establish a unified voice, we’ll be able to speak louder and be heard more clearly in Canberra. This will help us support our growers in tackling the major issues that weigh on our sector, like access to reliable sources of labour and water.

“Through the collection of horticultural members on the Council, the NFF will also develop a deeper understanding of the priority issues that affect horticulture growers to ensure effective representation. The Council will be committed to providing robust and constructive feedback on the NFF’s advocacy efforts so that our growers can get the best possible representation.”

Organisations that have joined the NFF Horticulture Council have signed an official Memorandum of Understanding agreeing that the forum was established to ‘strive for more efficient, effective, cohesive horticulture policy and advocacy that affects all Agriculture at the national level’.

Coinciding with this announcement, AUSVEG is also significantly increasing its advocacy activities by appointing Tyson Cattle to the role of National Manager – Public Affairs. Mr Cattle, who until recently was the editor of the Fairfax publication Stock and Land, will focus on building strong, fact-based cases that AUSVEG will take to government and other stakeholders to advance the issues that are impeding the growth and prosperity of growers.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shaun Lindhe, AUSVEG National Manager – Communications
Phone: (03) 9882 0277; Mobile: 0405 977 789; Email: