International networking for the Australian vegetable industry (VG11707)
This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.
What was it all about?
The International Networking project was developed to ensure that the Australian vegetable industry remained competitive on a global scale, by enabling industry leaders to represent the Australian vegetable sector at international events. In doing so, this established and maintained connections with relevant industry players from around the globe.
International networking was also imperative for the future of the Australian vegetable industry as it allowed for key members of the industry to gain valuable industry knowledge and be privy to new innovations that could be relayed back to Australian growers through various methods of dissemination.
Previous international networking tours allowed members of the Australian horticulture industry to increase their relationships and contacts overseas. The second year of this International Networking project also provided, for industry leaders, an insight into how other global industries did business and how to showcase Australia in the most rewarding way.
For the final year of this three year project, delegations were sent to India, Europe and China. The first of these educational tours was attended by Vegetable IAC representatives Peter Ward and Denise Ellement. Mr Ward and Ms Ellement who travelled to India to participate in the Research and Development (R & D) Workshop: Identification of key research priorities facilitated by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research and Hort Innovation (which was then Horticulture Australia Limited). The key objective of this workshop was to identify areas for potential partnership research and discuss collaboration towards mutual priorities.
In 2014 the Australian vegetable industry was represented by Mr Richard Mulcahy, AUSVEG CEO and Mr John Brent, Grower and AUSVEG Board Member. The AUSVEG CEO also joined with Mr John Lloyd and Mr Selwyn Snell during meetings with many horticulture industry researchers and suppliers as well as government officials. These meetings were sought by the Australian Horticulture Industry representatives to gain an insight into the advancements being made by their counterparts around the world.
Fruit Logistica became one of the most important business and communication arenas of the international fresh produce trade. It provided a perfect opportunity for the Australian representatives to develop new networks and revitalise previous relationships with global organisations. Following Fruit Logistica, attendees visited Oxitec at their headquarters in Oxford, London. A meeting was held with company leaders to discuss upcoming technology and the specific application and relevance to Australia. This meeting provided an understanding of Oxitec’s revolutionary development in established pest control systems and how it would benefit Australia.
Mr Mulcahy and Mr Lloyd also travelled to Israel and visited pioneering companies including BioBee, a leader in biologically-based Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Natural Pollination and Medfly Control, and Evogene, who were at the time contracted by Bayer Cropscience, to develop plant traits to improve yield.
This mission allowed members of the Peak Industry Body (PIB) the opportunity to open new networks with key stakeholders for Australian Growers, while absorbing fresh ideas and information to bring back to the local industries. New global links, information learnt and contacts created from the overseas networking activities were made available to Australian growers. This was achieved by securing speaking opportunities at the AUSVEG National Convention for international presenters and highlighting newly discovered industry developments in industry publications such as Vegetables Australia.
Finally, In April 2014, AUSVEG was represented by Hayden Moore, National Manager – Export Development, at the ‘Australia Week in China’ trade mission. The objective of AUSVEG’s participation in the trade mission was to create relationships within both the Australian and Chinese industries, as well as gathering important information regarding the Chinese markets. This was likely to help in informing the on-going efforts of the Australian vegetable industry to access and succeed in the Chinese market.
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the voluntary financial support of the vegetable industry.
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