Ten Australian vegetable growers are about to participate in an agricultural research mission to visit farms in the United States of America and attend the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit in Florida this week.

AUSVEG is the peak industry body representing the interests of over 7,000 Australian vegetable growers.

“The tour will take ten growers who have shown dedication and commitment to innovation within the Australian vegetable industry and give them the chance to visit operations throughout Delaware and the Salinas Valley in California,” said AUSVEG Communications Coordinator William Churchill.

Supported by Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL), the tour will coincide with the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) 2010 Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition, one of the largest international events of its kind.

“The four-day Fresh Summit brings together more than 18,000 participants from every component of the global supply chain. It’s an opportunity for the growers to network and learn from some of the biggest and most innovative players in the game,” said Mr Churchill.

Guest speakers include Brian Silbermann, President and CEO of the Produce Marketing Association.

“The tour will be an amazing opportunity for growers to develop their skills and knowledge for application in their Australian operations,” said Mr Churchill.

“The tour is intended to expose growers to issues surrounding production, marketing, processing and new research in one of the most profitable agriculture regions in the world,” he said.

Participants’ tour costs have been significantly subsidised by the National Vegetable Levy and the Australian Government provides matched funds for all HAL’s R&D activities.

“Australian vegetable growers are world leaders but they need to know what their competitors are up to and the grower tour will allow them to see the latest innovations which are coming to the market and bring back new technologies and ideas to share with other growers,” said Mr Churchill.

The tour was advertised to all vegetable levy payers and will expose growers to production, marketing and whole of supply chain systems in renowned growing regions of the USA.

For more information about the tour including details of the itinerary, or participants, please contact AUSVEG Communications Coordinator, William Churchill.

MEDIA CONTACT: William Churchill, Communications Coordinator, 0411 166 748