VegPRO education and training initiative
What was it all about?
From 2016 until 2021, the VegPRO initiative provided targeted training programs that upskilled participants at all levels in the Australian vegetable industry. The specific program topics were guided by industry needs and nominations and were offered for a set period of time. Topics were varied, covering everything from general business management to work health and safety instruction and accreditation in chemical use.
The overarching VegPRO program was supported by the investment Vegetable industry education and training initiative (VG15028), while the specific training opportunities were added as VegPRO sub-projects (VG16031).
Visit www.vegpro.com.au to learn more about the VegPRO initiative.
Completed VegPRO sub-projects
This sub-project supported industry scholarships through to 2020, for levy-paying vegetable growers to take part in the PMA A-NZ Produce Executive Program.
The program had a direct effect on raising management skill levels in the industry. Particularly in the areas of:
- People management
- Leadership and teambuilding
- Understanding and responding to consumers and markets
- Business strategy
- Customer management
- Understanding and improving value chains
- Brand development
- Export marketing.
In addition, participants’ knowledge of leading-edge development in the produce industry has been upgraded and enhanced. Learn more about the program on the PMA A-NZ website here. To get more information on the project access the final project report.
This sub-project had a focus on workplace health and safety (WHS) for vegetable farms. It developed eight video resources to help growers make use of a suite of ‘VegWHS’ tools – VegWHS being the industry’s WHS resource, distributed to growers on a carrot-shaped USB. Learn more and access the videos here.
This sub-project ended in late 2018 and supported the delivery of practical, hands-on training to irrigation operators in the vegetable industry to improve crop yields, quality and profitability.
This sub-project facilitated training in negotiation and influencing for an audience of supervisors upwards, or anyone that dealt with staff, suppliers or logistic companies on a daily basis in the vegetable industry.
Running during 2018, this sub-project facilitated nationally-recognised Chemical Accreditation courses specific to the vegetable crops grown in each region where the training took place. They addressed two key national units of competency: preparing and applying chemicals (Level 3: AHCCHM303A) and transporting and storing chemicals (Level 3: AHCCHM304A).
Complementing the above investment, this sub-project delivered nationally-recognised chemical accreditation training on preparing and applying chemicals, and transporting and storing chemicals, with sessions being translated for Vietnamese and Cambodian participants.
Specific to vegetable growers who produce baby leaf products, this training delivered key information on the specific considerations and approaches for spraying these crops. Following the training, students were assessed in order to obtain a Farm Chemical Users Permit.
This 2018 training sub-project delivered free, one-day workshops providing insights, tools, resources and contacts to help vegetable industry participants develop value-added products.
In 2017, this sub-project delivered a focused training workshop on product development and innovation for vegetables and vegetable-containing products. Many of the resources extended during the workshop are available at www.veginnovations.com.au, a website for innovating new vegetable products established under previous Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund work.
This sub-project is supported pest and disease workshops that offered information on pest and disease identification and management, and helped growers to develop greater understanding around seasonality and reasons for infection, contamination and damage in vegetable crops.
This sub-project created a digital induction resource for entry-level workers in the vegetable industry. It is available on the VegPRO website here.
This sub-project facilitated a series of free workshops designed to help growers understand the legislative changes around the Horticulture Code of Conduct.
This initiative was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund