2018 Women’s and Young Grower Industry Leadership and Development Missions (VG15703)
What was it all about?
This project supported two development missions in 2018, one for young growers and one for women. These missions expose growers to international industries and markets, providing opportunities for education and the chance to see innovation around the world. They also promote networking and provide the chance for industry to identify growers suited to leadership roles.
The 2018 Women’s Industry Leadership and Development Mission to Europe took place across late April and early May. Seven female Australian vegetable levy paying growers went on a 13 day mission to participate on a tour of innovative vegetable growing operations, farms and different areas of the supply chain in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The mission provided the women with insights into international vegetable trade and growing operations. Participants obtained knowledge of production and harvesting methods, export development, food safety practices, marketing, methods of sourcing labour, and the planning practices used. It allowed the growers to compare and contrast the practices and technologies on their own farms with those in the region.
The 2018 Young Grower Industry Leadership and Development Mission provided an opportunity for a group of eleven emerging leaders in the Australian vegetable industry to visit innovative growing operations, research facilities, agribusinesses, markets and retailers in New Zealand and California.
The mission allowed participants to experience the large scale of horticultural production in those two countries, providing a clearer insight into the industries, their challenges and production practices, as well as new technologies. They experienced production practices in a range of horticultural crops, and learned how growers incorporate sustainable initiatives and value-adding elements into their businesses.
The group heard from researchers at Plant and Food Research New Zealand and visited retailers and markets in Auckland before travelling to the US.
In California, participants met with leading irrigation company Toro and visited some of the biggest carrot growers in the world in Bakersfield. At the Western Growers Centre for Innovation and Technology the group of young growers were able to discuss the opportunities for agtech startups and the tour finished with visits to two of the world’s leading agribusinesses: Monsanto and Bayer Biologics.
The two-week mission highlighted the important role that research, agtech and automation can play in a vegetable growing operation.
In line with priorities identified in the Vegetable Strategic Investment Plan 2017-21, pparticipants from both missions gained a better understanding of the ways they can improve on-farm practices, and were inspired with new innovations and ideas to advance and grow the Australian vegetable industry.
This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund