Vegetable growers and leading industry experts from across the country will participate in meetings of the Vegetable Industry Design Teams on May 29 at Jupiters Gold Coast, Queensland, to guide the investment of the National Vegetable Levy into important Research and Development (R&D) projects.

“The three Design Teams are comprised of vegetable producers and leaders of industry. It is this eclectic mix that provides a wealth of knowledge and expertise on a broad range of issues that currently face the vegetable sector,” said Andrew White, AUSVEG Manager of Industry Development and Communications.
AUSVEG is the National Peak Industry Body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable growers.
“Each Design Team aligns with one of the Vegetable Industry Strategic Investment Plan’s (SIP’s) strategic investment priorities, which involve meeting consumer needs, developing and understanding markets and the value chain, and increasing farm productivity. By assigning each of these investment areas with its own team of experts, we can guide R&D projects to address priority areas for the sector,” said Mr White.
The Design Teams, a product of the new SIP unveiled at the 2012 AUSVEG National Convention, held their inaugural meetings in August last year. Since then, a number of innovative and exciting research projects have been presented to the Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) for endorsement.
“Under the Vegetable Industry Strategic Investment Plan, the power to direct R&D has been placed back into the hands of the people who ultimately benefit from it most – Australian vegetable growers,” said Mr White.
“So far, the Design Teams have performed exceptionally well. Numerous project ideas have been endorsed by the Industry Advisory Committee and approved by Horticulture Australia, and growers are well on the way to seeing the results from the R&D that has been produced under the new plan with a number of projects having been completed or close to completion,” said Mr White.
“Historically, vegetable R&D investment has primarily focused on addressing the issue of production and how to improve efficiency. Under the new investment plan, the focus has been redirected to address growing areas of importance for the vegetable industry, such as consumers and market development.”
“The industry’s focus is not only on creating production efficiencies, which is still very important, but also on researching ways to align more closely to consumers’ needs, developing new markets and finding novel uses for vegetables. Exploring export opportunities for Australian produce and identifying markets and product development opportunities are all part of the new investment plan.”
“Through properly focused R&D, we can better future-proof our industry to face the challenges of the coming decades,” said Mr White.
Investment under the Vegetable SIP is funded by HAL using the National Vegetable Levy with matched funds from the Australian Government.

MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew White, Manager of Industry Development and Communications, AUSVEG
Phone: (03) 9822 0388 Mobile: 0409 989 575 E-mail :