The fresh produce and floral industry is still savouring the success of Hort Connections 2017, which smashed delegate and exhibitor records previously set by PMA Fresh Connections and the National Horticulture Convention. The inaugural amalgamation of two leading industry events was the biggest and most comprehensive event in the history of Australian and New Zealand horticulture, attracting 2,489 delegates including international visitors from 15 countries.

As a result of the event’s enormous success, PMA Australia-New Zealand Chairman Andrew Francey and AUSVEG Chairman Geoff Moar announced to a jam-packed Gala Dinner audience of over 1,200 that the event is here to stay. Hort Connections will return in 2018 to the Brisbane Convention Centre, from 18-20 June.

“We have received an overwhelmingly positive response to Hort Connections 2017. The power of industry events like Hort Connections simmers down to a single yet loaded word – networking,” said Renée Harrison, Head of Marketing and Member Engagement at PMA Australia-New Zealand.

“Building a social capital occurs by design, not chance. Hort Connections 2017 was designed to foster opportunities for industry members to build relationships and networks as well as capture information, ideas and knowledge to grow their businesses for a bigger and brighter tomorrow,” she said.

The 2017 event highlights included presentations from expert thought leaders and an exciting exhibition showcasing 148 local and global supply chain organisations. Delegates saw the latest in technology and innovation, heard from industry experts, met leading local and global agribusinesses and networked at the most highly anticipated social events on the industry’s calendar including the Welcome Reception and Hort Connections Gala Dinner.

Industry members gathered in force to celebrate the achievements of the best and brightest as 10 awards for outstanding achievement and commitment to the Australian and New Zealand horticulture industry were presented. Taking out the top accolades were Queensland vegetable grower Anthony Staatz as Grower of the Year, and Matt Stillwell of Compac Sort who won the PMA-Produce Plus Marketer of the Year award for the ‘Spectrim launch’ campaign.

“This event would not have been possible without the ongoing support of event sponsors and strategic partners along with the help of our industry co-hosts Irrigation Australia, Onions Australia, Australian Organic, Central Markets Association of Australia, Fresh Markets Australia, Growcom, Potatoes South Australia and Nursery and Garden Industry Australia, as well as Horticulture Innovation Australia,” said AUSVEG National Marketing Manager Nathan McIntyre.

“We strongly encourage all industry associations to be a part of this event as collaboration is the strongest tool we have to ensure the horticulture industry remains competitive.”

Feedback from delegates will be sought to ensure that Hort Connections 2018 will be even bigger and better than this year’s event. Presentations, speaker presentations and more information from Hort Connections 2017 will be posted on the event website in the coming weeks. Visit for more information.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Renée Harrison, PMA A-NZ Marketing Manager
Mobile: 0404 160 908, Email: