CEO and Future Model Update October 2018

Welcome to the October edition of the NNN Newsletter. This edition contains details on what activities have been undertaken by NGIA over the last month and a preview of activities leading up to the end of the year.

My update also contains important information on a number of issues that may be of interest and more importantly need your attention and participation. The issues include participation in Nursery Industry Statistics and Career Pathway surveys, a letter from the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) and who to vote for as directors for Hort Innovation at their upcoming Annual General Meeting.

NGIA Board Meeting and Annual General Meeting (AGM):

The next NGIA Board meeting will be held on 12 and 13 November with the AGM to be held on the 13th. The notice for the AGM was sent on 19 October with the Agenda and Proxy Form. I would encourage you to complete and return the Proxy Form to NGIA if you cannot attend the AGM.

I will provide an overview of the two more interesting agenda items for the NGIA Board meeting:

The Future Model for the Nursery Industry:

Over the last month or so, Brian Ramsay of Inovact Consulting, has continued his consultation and deliberations on developing the transition strategy and business plan to progress to the Future Model for the Nursery Industry. A draft report was provided to the network of NGI Association Boards for review and discussion. The report contained Brian’s independent advice, on a way of working towards the selected model, so that the industry can decide and act with confidence.

Brian will attend the Future Model session at the Board meeting where he will present and facilitate the discussion on “Establishing a Contemporary Business Model for the Nursery and Garden Industry”. The session will be attended by the NGIA Board, the State NGI Presidents and a number invited NGI members by the State Associations. It will be “live streamed” so all NGI members and industry stakeholders have the opportunity to watch, listen and participate through on-line comments and questioning.

Hort Innovation Chief Executive Officer:

The new CEO of Hort Innovation who started in September, Mr Matthew Brand, has been invited to attend the November Board meeting of NGIA. The Board will provide Matthew with an overview of the industry and the key issues that need and continue to be addressed by Hort Innovation using nursery industry levy funding.

The Board will work through a number of issues including:

  • The nursery industry levy funded R&D and Marketing project portfolio.
  • The role of the SIAP in relation to R&D and marketing procurement process.
  • Development of a Levy Payer Register; and
  • Recommendation 7 of the Hort Innovation Independent Review by GHD - Hort Innovation to develop a generic agreement, or Statement of Intent, between Hort Innovation and IRBs that codifies the relationship and includes a complaints handling process, with the scope of the agreement to be jointly agreed between Hort Innovation and IRBs.

Recommendation 7 is one of 14 from the recently conducted Hort Innovation review, which is a requirement every four years under their Statutory Funding Agreement (SFA) with the Australian Government.

Nursery Industry Statistics and Career Pathway Projects:

NGIA is involved in the following two projects that require member and levy payer involvement and participation.

NY17002 – Review of nursery industry career pathways. (A link to the survey for this is provided here if you have not completed it yet). I would encourage you to complete the survey given the importance of this issue to the industry.

NY17008 – Nursery industry statistics 2016-17 to 2019-20. This project is being managed by NGIA in partnership with Down to Earth Research and ACIL Allen Consulting. It is a continuation of Project NY16004 – Nursery Industry Statistics and Research, over multi-years to build more accurate year on year data. (Again, I would encourage you to participate in the survey for this project if you are contacted. The phone surveying started yesterday).

Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO)

Have you seen this logo in a letter?

If yes, then you may have received a letter from APCO recently. The letter would have been with reference to a “Brand Audit” for liability under the National Environment Protection (used packaging material) Measure 2011.

In some instances, I have been advised that the letter has been thrown in the bin, ignored as a scam, raised as a concern or forwarded to NGIA for discussion. To obtain a better understanding of APCO, and the possible liability of NGI members, I met with their CEO and Industry Partnership Manager.

To determine liability under the Measure there are three criteria to address:

  1. Are you a Brand Owner? – Under their definition the answer is yes if you have a business name or own a trade mark.
  2. Is your turnover greater than (>) $5.0m.? – If yes go to number 3; If no then you can request exemption status by forwarding a statutory declaration to APCO stating your turnover is less than (<) $5.0m. and you do not wish to be a Signatory to the Covenant.
  3. Do you use packaging on your product? – The plastic pots, other pots and other containers used to hold plants are considered packaging. The plant being a product in a container like a drink in a can or bottle.

If you answered yes to 1, 2 and 3 then please respond to APCO on how to become a member and your reporting requirements.

Hort Innovation Australia Annual General Meeting

The Hort Innovation AGM is being conducted on Friday 23 November and a key item of business for voting members is to elect three directors to the Hort Innovation Board.

Seven candidates for the positions have been announced, with voting members encouraged to get to know the candidates in the profiles listing their past and current experience on the Hort Innovation website – Further details on the candidates were also included in the Notice of Annual General Meeting, distributed in mid-October.

In alphabetical order by surname, the seven candidates are:

Julie Bird (Haslett)
Tania Chapman
Susan Finger (current director, re-nominated)
Stephen Lynch (current director, re-nominated)
Steve Marafiote
Mark Napper (current director, re-nominated)

The recommendation for NGIA voting members of Hort Innovation is to vote for Julie Bird, Tania Chapman and Mark Napper.

Comments, Questions?

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

Grand Finals

As I advised in the September update, I had the Magpies in the AFL and the Storm in the NRL, so in the end it was a miserable end to the season. I have started to recover and there is always next year!