Women's grower study tour 2014-2016 (VG13706)
What was it all about?
The 2015 Women in Horticulture Industry Leadership and Development Mission provided an opportunity for eight leading female vegetable levy payers to visit the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany for a two week study tour.
Growers visited innovative vegetable growing operations, processors, research facilities, the Agritechnica trade show and other industry representatives.
As emerging industry leaders, the participants had ample opportunities throughout the mission to learn from their European counterparts as well as each other, and identify areas of improvement for their own farms.
Importantly, the mission also recognised the pivotal role that women play in the Australian vegetable industry and allowed participants to develop networks and discuss areas of mutual interest.
The mission was held from 31 October to 14 November 2015 and began in the Netherlands, where the group visited leading companies including Bird Control Group, Koppert Cress, Food Centre Amsterdam, Syngenta Seeds, Proeftuin Zwaagdijk, Barendse DC, Pater Broersen, as well as Hoogendoorn Growth Management and its partner companies.
From the Netherlands the group travelled to Belgium where they visited vegetable processor Hesbaye Frost. Participants were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the custom-built factory and learnt how the processor became an industry leader in the frozen vegetable sector.
In Switzerland, the group had the chance to visit Syngenta’s Crop Protection Research Biology Centre in Stein and tour its Insect and Disease Control Centre, which gave them a new appreciation of the extensive time, knowledge and effort that is necessary to develop a product for the market.
Finally, participants travelled to Germany for the Agritechnica trade show, where they spent the day discovering new machinery and technologies. The group also visited seedling nursery Rudolf Sinn GmbH, before a final visit to the John Deere European Headquarters and tractor factory in Mannheim.
Upon their return, participants were encouraged to communicate with local growers to disseminate the knowledge and key insights discovered from the mission to the wider Australian vegetable growing community.
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation
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