Hobart to host national potato industry meetings
Leading potato growers and processors will gather in Hobart next week for the Fresh and Processed Potato Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) meetings.The IACs are responsible for endorsing research and development projects for the Australian potato industry.
The Fresh Potato IAC meeting will be held on Thursday, August 25 and the Processed Potato IAC meeting will be held on Friday, August 26, both at Wrest Point Hotel Casino in Hobart.
AUSVEG spokesperson Stephanie Bellassai said it was important for the two Potato IACs to meet regularly to deliberate on critical industry R&D decisions.
“The last time the two Potato IACs met for a face-to-face meeting was in April of this year, which was held in conjunction with the AUSVEG National Convention in Brisbane. These meetings present an excellent opportunity for members to touch base and discuss the issues that are high on the industry’s agenda,” Miss Bellassai said.
AUSVEG is the National Peak Industry Body representing the interests of over 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.
International guests are also set to attend the meetings, with Potatoes New Zealand Business Manager Ron Gall and Deputy Chairman Murray Turley travelling to Hobart as guests at the Potato IAC meetings.
“Collaboration on R&D with our New Zealand counterpart is vital, particularly with regard to Zebra Chip disease which is currently plaguing New Zealand,” Miss Bellassai said.
“It is important that we maintain open communication with industry members from New Zealand to gain their input on how to improve the Australian potato industry.”
The meetings in Hobart are also of significance as they will be the last to be chaired by the retiring Chairman of the Fresh and Processed Potato IAC Mr John Rich of Launceston.
Mr Rich will step down after holding his position as Chairman for approximately two years.
The IACs are funded by Horticulture Australia Limited using the potato levy, voluntary contributions from industry and matched funds from the Australian Government.