Visy renews Strategic Partnership with AUSVEG

AUSVEG is pleased to announce that packaging giant Visy has renewed its Strategic Partnership for another year.

Visy provides a range of packaging options designed to enhance the quality of fresh produce. A strong focus on innovation means that Visy will continue to drive the industry forward and push standards of quality even higher.

Now entering its seventh year of partnership with AUSVEG, Visy is a proud and committed supporter of Australian horticulture. AUSVEG looks forward to the continuation of this relationship for the betterment of the industry.

For more information on Visy, please click here to visit its website.


Flow Power announced as Convention sponsor

AUSVEG is proud to announce that Flow Power will be coming on board as a partner of Hort Connections 2017.

Flow Power is a 100 per cent Australian-owned business, created in 2008 by an energy management specialist who saw an opportunity to help businesses manage their load and reduce their power bills.

Flow Power will be the exclusive sponsor of the hospitality following the Global Innovations in Horticulture Seminar on Tuesday 16 May.

For more information on Flow Power, please visit its website. For more information on Hort Connections, please click here.


Two weeks until Hort Connections – register now!

Hort Connections 2017, the biggest event in Australian horticulture, is only two weeks away. The event, which will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 15-17 May, is set to be the highlight of the horticultural calendar and will be host to a wide range of events that will educate and illuminate delegates, including:

  • Extensive trade show featuring over 200 industry-leading exhibitors
  • Speaker sessions from the industry’s brightest
  • Panel discussion on mental health
  • Not-to-be-missed networking events and Gala Dinner
  • Annual Women in Horticulture and Young Grower events

Growers and industry members in Australian horticulture who have not yet registered for Hort Connections 2017 are encouraged to do so quickly to avoid disappointment. For more information and to register please visit the Hort Connections website.


Invitation: Potatoes South Australia Luncheon

Potatoes South Australia invites you to its special Australian Potato Industry Luncheon, to be held in conjunction with Hort Connections 2017.

Date: Monday 15 May 2017
Time: 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Location: Adelaide Convention Centre, City Rooms 1 and 2, North Terrace Adelaide

Tickets are $85 for members and $95 for non-members, and include a two course luncheon, South Australian wines, beer and soft drinks.

For more information on the event, please click here. For more information on Hort Connections, please click here.


Women in Horticulture event – Two weeks to go!

The ever-popular Women in Horticulture networking event will once again return to Hort Connections 2017. The event is open to all delegates at Hort Connections, providing a chance to acknowledge and celebrate the integral role that women play in the industry.

The event will be held on Wednesday 17 May from 2:00pm to 4:30pm. This year’s theme will focus on getting involved and adding value to your business.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston will be headlining the guest speakers, while ABC presenter Tonya Roberts will emcee the event. The Eat.Drink.Innovate Pty Ltd founder Susie White will speak on new product and packaging innovations, while celebrity chef Geoff Jansz will perform a cooking demonstration with local produce. Horticulture Innovation Australia Relationship Manager Christian Patterson will also discuss levy-funded projects.

The event will conclude with the announcement of the 2017 Women in Horticulture award winner.

For more information or to RSVP, please visit or call AUSVEG on 03 9882 0277.


Horticulture Field Day Agenda

Hort Connections 2017 will be preceded by the annual Horticulture Field Day. This year, the field day will focus on pest and disease detection and management. The event is free and available only to those who have registered for Hort Connections 2017.

A PDF of the full day’s agenda can be found here, or by clicking the below image.

To register for the event, please email


VegPRO Tractor Driver training – Feedback requested

VegPRO is seeking feedback on the skills growers both expect and require their tractor drivers to hold.

VegPRO is then hoping to use this information to initiate Tractor Driver training at different levels (basic/level 1, intermediate/level 2 and advanced/level 3).

To complete the short survey and leave your feedback, please click here. For more information, please contact Sophie Lapsley on 0447 440 334 or by email at VegPRO will also have a booth at Hort Connections 2017 where feedback can be left.

VegPRO is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

Students gain a deeper insight into potato disease

A number of students have completed or are undertaking research into a range of different potato diseases and pests, four of which have been profiled in the latest edition of Potatoes Australia magazine.

Josephine Lamattina completed her studies in 2014 at Agriculture Victoria, as part of her Masters of Biotechnology studies at Deakin University. Josephine focused on powdery scab, undertaking research entitled Novel control methods for powdery scab.

Veradina (Dina) Dharjono studied a Bachelor of Science (majoring in agricultural science) at the University of Melbourne and graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy at the end of 2016. Dina’s project studied the potential management of Verticillium wilt, developing a lab-based test to screen potato cultivars for their resistance to Verticillium, including evaluating different doses of Verticillium spores.

Mee-Yung Shin is currently undertaking a PhD in Agriculture at the University of Melbourne. Mee-Yung’s project is investigating the host-pathogen relationship of potato and Verticillium spp., which leads to major wilt diseases such as Verticillium wilt and Potato Early Dying (PED) syndrome.

Varun Iyer is currently studying a Master of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics at La Trobe University. His project is investigating microorganisms of a common scab suppressive soil using DNA technology to identify groups of bacteria and fungi that are responsible for disease suppression.

To gain a further insight into these students and their research, please see pages 24-26 of the latest Potatoes Australia magazine, which can be read online here.

Potatoes Australia is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development Fresh Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


RIRDC Non-Executive Director positions

The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) is aiming to grow the long-term prosperity of Australian rural industries, and has opened applications for Non-Executive Director positions.

Successful applicants will be required to attend at least four board meetings and a range of other events throughout the year.

For more information on the role, please click here.


Greenhouse technical guidelines and best practice extension toolbox

Horticulture Innovation Australia, Osborn Consulting Engineers, FERM Engineering, RMCG and Doyle’s Construction Lawyers are nearing the completion of the project Developing technical guidelines and best practice extension toolbox for greenhouse construction and safe operation (VG16004).

In Part 1 of this project the team developed technical guidelines for greenhouses and grow structures for inclusion in the National Construction Code (NCC). The project team has developed measures for horticultural building classification and a provisional framework to reduce classification ambiguity and irrelevant NCC provisions, particularly relating to areas of fire and egress. Part 2 developed a toolbox containing vital information and resources relating to the design, approvals, construction and safe operation of greenhouses in Australia – a tool specifically designed for growers and the protected vegetable cropping industry. This toolbox can be found here.

The Proposal for Change to the NCC and the toolbox fact sheets will be open for comment from 1 May – 19 May 2017. The proposal will be provided to AUSVEG, Protected Cropping Australia and previous survey participants as part of the project. Feedback can also be given via the Greenhouse Toolbox Contact Form.

More information on the project can be found here.

VG16004 is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


New R&D report available on InfoVeg

InfoVeg is a comprehensive database that has been designed to bridge the gap between researchers and growers. It acts as a resource for growers to easily access technical information and research funded by the National Vegetable and Potato Levies.

The following report was published recently on the InfoVeg database:

  • VG13086 – Identify process improvements for preserving peak freshness of broccoli

Click here to sign up or log in to your InfoVeg account to access the report.

The InfoVeg database is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable and National Potato Levies and funds from the Australian Government.


Queensland announces plans to introduce mandatory licensing for labour hire

The Queensland government has outlined its proposed mandatory licensing scheme for labour hire companies operating in Queensland, with legislation to give effect to this licensing scheme to be introduced later in May 2017.

Under the proposed scheme, all labour hire providers operating in Queensland would need to pass a fit and proper person test, pay a license fee, report regularly on their operations, divulge the number of employees they have engaged (including specific numbers of employees holding work visas), and comply with other requirements.

For more details on the proposed scheme, please click here to see the media statement provided by the Queensland government.


Soil Wealth and ICP want to hear your voice

The Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection (ICP) projects provide R&D extension services, products and communication on improved soil management and plant health to the Australian vegetable industry.

Over the past 3 years, AHR and RMCG have delivered the extension projects on behalf of Horticulture Innovation Australia, and are consulting with a wide range of growers and industry stakeholders to determine their impact and value.

This survey will be open from 1 to 19 May 2017 and will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Participation is voluntary and all responses will remain confidential.

To complete the survey, click here.

Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection are funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


2018 Nuffield Scholarships – Applications now open!

Applications for the 2018 Nuffield Scholarships for Australian Primary Producers are now open.

Aiming to develop current, emerging and future leaders within Australian industries, each scholarship offers a $30,000 bursary to enable the successful applicants to study cutting-edge global agriculture.

A range of scholarships are available across multiple industries, including a vegetable grower scholarship supported by Horticulture Innovation Australia.

For more information on these scholarships and information on how to apply, please click here.

The 2018 Nuffield Scholarship for the vegetable industry is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


Hort Connections 2017 – NextGen Young Grower event

The annual NextGen Young Grower event will take place at Hort Connections 2017. The event, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, will offer participants a once-in-a-lifetime experience to climb the newly constructed Adelaide Oval Roof, with food and refreshments provided afterwards. This event is free and available only to those who have registered for Hort Connections 2017.

Date: Wednesday 17 May 2017
Time: 2:00pm – 5:30pm
Location: Adelaide Oval
Cost: Free for those attending Hort Connections 2017.

Please express your interest by emailing, as numbers must be secured for the event.


Export Council of Australia calls for exporters to complete Australian International Business Survey

The Export Council of Australia (ECA) has released the 2017 Australian International Business Survey. Now in its fourth year, the survey has become the largest of its kind, looking into the international behaviour of Australian companies.

The survey aims to capture the international intentions and trends of more than 2,000 Australian exporters over time, and to build greater industry-government awareness of the key impediments to trade.

The ECA urges all exporters to ensure their voice is heard by completing the 15-minute survey. This year, the ECA is offering educational incentives for survey participants: a series of educational booklets, developed in conjunction with HSBC Australia, covering four Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) Australia has with Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and New Zealand.

The booklets are specifically designed to help Australian exporters navigate the basics of utilising our four FTAs with ASEAN trading partners, as well as understanding the tariff and non-tariff benefits that apply to a range of goods and services across most industry sectors.

To complete the 2017 Australian International Business Survey, please click here.


Current project opportunities with Hort Innovation

Hort Innovation advertises opportunities to become a delivery partner on research, development and marketing projects for Australian horticulture on its website and on

Join Hort Innovation’s delivery partner mailing list to receive email notifications of new opportunities by registering through its delivery partner registration form.

The relevant documentation for each opportunity is available on To access this information, you will need to become a member by registering on the registration page.

Please find below a table of current project opportunities directly related to the Australian vegetable and potato industries. For more details on any of the projects, or for information on other project opportunities across horticulture, please visit

Type Title Closing date
Request for proposal Tools and interventions for increasing children’s vegetable consumption 5pm (Sydney time)
Wednesday 24 May 2017


Communication of levy-funded R&D is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy, National Fresh Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.