More than 250 delegates gathered at the annual Women in Horticulture networking event at Hort Connections 2017, which aimed to recognise and celebrate the pivotal role that women play in the industry and highlight the ways that they can get involved and add value to their businesses.

The event was held at the InterContinental Adelaide on 17 May and was preceded by the Women’s Fresh Perspectives Roaming Breakfast, which aspired to empower women in the fresh produce and floral community to become stronger leaders in the horticulture industry.

Proudly sponsored by AUSVEG Strategic Partner Steritech, the Women in Horticulture event recognises the ever-important role that women play in the traditionally male-dominated sector.

The event opened with an address from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston, who provided an insight into her experience as a regionally-based senator with a passion for agriculture and the challenges she has faced along the way.

Eat.Drink.Innovate Pty Ltd founder Susie White gave an energetic presentation and inspired attendees on the ways they could incorporate new product and packaging innovations into their businesses.

Attendees were also treated to an entertaining and informative cooking demonstration from celebrity chef Geoff Jansz, who used local produce to explain the easy ways to bring professional cooking into the home. Horticulture Innovation Australia Relationship Manager Christian Patterson also provided an update on levy-funded projects that are underway to benefit the industry.

“The Women in Horticulture event was a highlight of Hort Connections 2017, as it was an opportunity to celebrate the integral role that women play in all aspects of Australian horticulture and reinforce they countless ways they can add value to a business,” said AUSVEG Deputy Chair Belinda Adams.

“Horticulture is traditionally a male-dominated sector, however women are responsible for a diverse range of roles both on and off the farm, which often go unrecognised. This event is about highlighting these contributions and providing an opportunity for attendees to network, celebrate and reflect on the important and varied role of women in the industry.”

The event concluded with the announcement of the 2017 Women in Horticulture award winner, Victorian organic grower and social media extraordinaire Lisa Brassington, who received the award from 2016 winner and Queensland vegetable grower Sharron Windolf.

“Senator Ruston, Susie White, Geoff Jansz and Christian Patterson successfully informed and entertained delegates during the Women in Horticulture event, but most importantly they provided an insight into the myriad ways that women can add value to a farming operation. I’m confident that attendees walked away with a new-found inspiration to apply to their businesses,” Mrs Adams said.

“Once again the Women in Horticulture networking event provided a perfect opportunity for delegates at Hort Connections 2017 to catch up and celebrate the important role of women in the industry.”

Hort Connections 2017 is the premier event in the Australian fresh produce and flower industry and attracted over 2,500 delegates to the Adelaide Convention Centre from 15-17 May. The event is a joint initiative of AUSVEG and the Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand and incorporated eight industry co-hosts.

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