The ingenious mastermind behind several strange and wonderful varieties of watercress that resemble the taste of oysters, liquorice and citrus is set to join an exciting panel of speakers at an industry-first seminar next month.

Dutch cultivator Rob Baan will provide highly-anticipated insight into his sustainable and innovative horticultural enterprise, Koppert Cress, at the 2014 Produce Innovation Seminar, to be held at the Cairns Convention Centre on Thursday 19 June. 
The Produce Innovation Seminar will be held in conjunction with the 2014 AUSVEG National Convention, Trade Show and Awards for Excellence, at which Mr Baan will also provide an address to delegates during the Friday Speaker Sessions on 20 June.
“Imagine the culinary possibilities of Rob Baan’s watercress varieties – from desserts like aniseed-flavoured ice cream, to tastebud-stimulating salads,” said AUSVEG spokesperson, William Churchill.
“These products inspire consumers and chefs alike, and it is innovative thinking like this that puts Koppert Cress in front of the pack in the vegetable industry.”
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
Mr Baan is CEO of Koppert Cress and a leader in high-tech horticulture. The company’s greenhouses, located in the Netherlands, are at the forefront of sustainable vegetable production, using LED lighting to provide plants with ultraviolet energy, and antibacterial structures to ensure the produce is clean, safe and ready to eat.
“With quality, nutritious food being one of today’s biggest trends, innovative vegetable products like Koppert Cress’ watercress are essential to meeting market needs.”
“We are hoping that the seminar will inspire Australian growers to pursue novel vegetable lines and create innovative products that will captivate consumers across the nation, while creating new financial opportunities for themselves,” said Mr Churchill.
The Produce Innovation Seminar will also cover the latest developments in vegetable and food packaging – a particularly important consideration for growers exporting their produce overseas.
“Australian vegetable producers have always been innovative, but with the encouragement and ideas from our speakers, they could perhaps become world-leaders in produce innovation.” 
This project has been funded by Horticulture Australia Limited using the National Vegetable Levy and matched funds from the Australian Government.
MEDIA CONTACT: William Churchill, AUSVEG.
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0411 166 748 E-mail: