CEO Update June 2018

Welcome to the NNN newsletter for June 2018. My update for the last month of the 2017/18 financial year will provided details of the NGIA Board meeting conducted, NGIA’s involvement as co-host of the Hort

Connections conference and a resource that may help your physical, mental and business health and well being.

NGIA Board Meeting:

The key item of business for the Board is the on-going discussions and deliberations of the Future Model for Our Industry. The process of review, refinement, selection and transition to a new model is time consuming but must be done optimally to ensure your interests are protected. It must also ensure that the services, benefits and value provided make you and your business better off in the future.

The State NGI Presidents joined the meeting by teleconference for this important agenda item to provide their respective state’s position on the single entity unity model. The NGIA Board and State Presidents agree that if a decision on the Unity Model goes to a vote, then the best outcome for industry is progressed.

The next step in the future model process is to work with a consultant to meet with each State Board and discuss what needs to be included in the operation of the future association model. Following this program of consultation, it is proposed that a business plan be developed to develop the financial model, determine the transition timeframe and identified and priorities the services to be delivered.

NGIA Conference 2020:

The Board approved the NGIWA proposal to hold the next NGIA National Conference in Perth in 2020. It is proposed to be held in July/August with dates to be confirmed soon. Please mark this in your diary early.

Hort Connections Conference:

Karen Brock (NGIA President), Paul Lancaster (NGIA Vice President), John McDonald (NGIA National Biosecurity Manager) and I attended the Hort Connections conference conducted in June. Hort Connections is a joint conference between AusVeg and Production Marketing Australia (PMA) to bring together all stakeholders along the production horticulture supply chain. NGIA is a co-host of Hort Connections with the aim of ingrains good the nursery industry as the starting place for all plants used in production horticulture. Our particular aim was to highlight and promote the importance of the nursery production farm management system for the production of plants.

In the open plenary session under the “State of the Industry” topic, Julian Cribb promoted and pushed the requirement for a “farm” in every primary school. He advised that there needs to be a “year of farm” or a “year of food” in primary school so kids get an understanding of plants and where horticultural produce comes from. Julian is an author and science communicator and an extremely strong advocate for educating the importance of plants and food production in schools.

There was also a session on global innovation in horticulture. There was range of presentations covering new technologies, vertical indoor farming and creating opportunities through prolific invention. There are a number of technologies for the nursery industry to investigate and harvest to assist in how we produce plants. The link of this session to the levy funded global review of nursery research will be important for the project.

Karen, Paul and I met with Selwyn Snell (Chair – Hort Innovation) to discuss a range of issues including the recently completed Hort Innovation review, the R&D procurement process and establishing a grower register for the nursery industry. Selwyn and the Hort Innovation Board are supportive of the activities being undertaken by NGIA hope to establish a letter of intent for how to manage a mutually beneficial working relationship. Matthew Brand from NSW Farmers has been appointed the new CEO of Hort Innovation to replace John Lloyd and will start in September. The NGIA Board will aim to meet the Hort Innovation Board soon after Matthew starts to discuss areas of interest.

Physical, Mental and Business Health:

One of the most important presentation at the NGIA Conference in Hobart in February was by Kerri-Lynn Peachey on Managing the Pressures of Farming. In this NNN Newsletter, Gabrielle Stannus provides an article on - Relating the family farm business checklist to the nursery and garden centre industry. The article discusses and provides an approach to help farmers (nursery business owners) deal with the pressures of running a business. The approach may help with managing your physical, mental and business health and be a good business check moving from the current and to the new financial year.

Gabrielle was guest at the NGIA Conference and has written a series of articles since the conference that have been provided through the NNN Newsletter.

Comments, Questions?:

As usual if you have any comments, questions or require further information or clarification on my activities or NGIA’s activitis, please contact me at