Members of the Australian vegetable industry have been encouraged to nominate women to be recognised for their contribution to the industry during a gala evening at the industry’s National Awards for Excellence in May. A number have been nominated for an Award.

The evening will take place as part of the inaugural AUSVEG National Convention, Trade Show and National Awards for Excellence, at Jupiters Hotel-Casino on the Gold Coast from May 27-30.

AUSVEG is the national peak industry body representing the interests of around 9,000 vegetable and potato growers around Australia.

AUSVEG CEO Richard Mulcahy said the convention features a strong focus on women in horticulture, with a special breakfast to recognise the contribution of women in horticulture planned for Saturday May 29.

‘The Women in Horticulture Breakfast will give women in the industry the recognition they deserve,’ Mr Mulcahy said.

‘Women play a very important role in the Australian vegetable industry and a number of members of the Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee and Advisory and Working Groups are women. Often they are overlooked, but women play a pivotal role in producing the food we all eat,’ Mr Mulcahy said.

The Chair of the National Farmers Union Board for Horticulture & Potatoes in the United Kingdom, Ms Sarah Pettitt, will speak at the breakfast, which is presented by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and is being held in support of the McGrath Foundation.

Other convention events featuring prominent women in the industry include the Research and Development (R&D) Sessions, which will run as part of the Convention speaker programme on May 29.

Dr Sandra McDougall, an industry leader in field vegetables from Industry and Investment NSW will speak on insects and diseases, while Dr Susan Lambert from the Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research will speak about innovations, new technologies and crop production.

Ms Kathryn Adams, a Senior Research Fellow with the Australian Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture, will also present on issues including intellectual property in horticulture.

A Women in Horticulture Award will be presented at the National Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner to recognise the hard work of one woman in ensuring a positive future for the Australian vegetable and potato industries, Mr Mulcahy said.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Hugh Tobin, Communications Manager, AUSVEG Ph: (03) 9544 8098, Mob: 0431 939 920, Email: