AUSVEG, the peak industry body for Australia’s potato growers, has welcomed today’s appointment of John Rich as the independent chair of both the Fresh and Processed Potato Industry Advisory Committees (IACs).

AUSVEG CEO, Richard Mulcahy said that the new Chair, Mr John Rich of Launceston, Tasmania, brings extensive experience in the horticulture industry, particularly in the potato sector.

The Industry Advisory Committees provide recommendations to Horticulture Australia Limited for the allocation of grower levies sourced from potato growers and processors and collected by the Australian Government.

Levies are used to support research and development proposals submitted by a range of providers, including researchers, tertiary institutions and industry bodies.

Levies are matched with funds provided to Horticulture Australia Limited by the Australian Government.

The fresh and processed potato IACs recommended $2.8 million of project investments to HAL for funding in 2008/09.

Mr Rich was appointed to the position by Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) on the recommendation of AUSVEG and the Potato Processing Association of Australia (PPAA) respectively.

‘John Rich will bring a fresh enthusiasm to the Fresh and Processed Potato IACs and I am confident he will become a valuable asset to the entire potato industry,’ said Mr Mulcahy.

Mr Rich has previously served as Executive Officer with the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association until 2004.

He was also the Australian and New Zealand representative on the World Potato Congress Advisory Committee and has been involved in a range of international meetings on issues related to the potato industry.

Amongst other appointments in his career, Mr Rich was a member of the Industry Management Committee of Horticulture Australia Limited where he represented 23 horticulture groups.

He has also been an adviser to the Federal Government on exotic pests and diseases.

AUSVEG CEO Richard Mulcahy thanked outgoing Chair, Mr John Gallagher of Perth, Western Australia for his many years of service to the industry through his work on the Committees.

For more information, please contact AUSVEG Communications Manager Hugh Tobin.

Hugh Tobin, AUSVEG, 03 9544 8098, 0431 939 920 or