CEO Update

Welcome to the last NNN Newsletter for 2018. It has been another year that I hope NGIA and the NGI Network of Associations have delivered against our strategic vision of – “We will create a climate for our members and industry to grow and prosper.”

Over the last couple of months, I have spoken to many members who have advised of very strong demand and sales throughout the year which has allowed businesses and the industry to proposer. I would like to highlight and update you on a number of key issues and activities from this year and what is planned in 2019.

Transition Team for Future Model Formed:
Following consensus of the NGI Network Executive to support a reinvention of NGIA and form a new hybrid national body whereby both businesses and state associations can be direct members, a transition team of NGI members has been identified. The team will produce an Information Memorandum (IM) that articulates the proposed model and provides a basis for members to make a decision on the new entity. The IM will basically be a prospectus for the new entity.

The transition team is made up of NGIA Life Member Russ Higginbotham who will be chair and Glenn Fenton (VIC), Colin Groom (WA), Symone Mansfield (VIC), Andy Cameron (NSW), Robin McLay (QLD) and Chris Simon (SA). It was developed to ensure the diversity of the industry is represented and that those selected have the skills to work together to provide the details to members on this landmark activity for the industry. More details will be provided early in 2019.

Nursery Industry Communications:
NGIA has continued to manage the two nursery industry communications programs in 2019. The NGI member focussed communications being based on the NNN e-newsletter where we endeavour to address issues of interest for members through the activities of NGIA. The second program is the levy funded nursery communications we do in conjunction with Cox Inall. We have recently completed a three-year joint program and have just been awarded the program, working with Cox Inall again, for another three years. We had our first planning meeting this week and will have a revamped approach to the delivery of levy funded R&D and marketing activities in the new year.

Nursery Industry Statistics Project
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Nursery Industry Statistics Project survey. We had an excellent response which will build on the results from the first year of the project conducted in 2017. We hope to have more insights, facts and figures from the 2018 survey that will assist in refining and improving the production nursery business benchmarking tool to highlight areas of your business that are not operating at their maximum efficiency and need addressing.

An additional aspect of the survey process was to include representatives of the retail and landscape parts of the supply chain to obtain a validation of sales figures from the production nurseries. The data and information from the surveys will be analysed over the next few months.

Nursery Industry Career Pathways Project
A workshop to present, review and discuss the findings of the research activities for the nursery industry career pathways projects was conducted in Melbourne early in December. Attracting, developing and retaining staff in the industry is one of the key challenges for businesses currently. The workshop attendees engaged in discussion and exercises to help assess and understand the issues and strategies to help promote nursery industry careers. The project is being conducted by RMCG Consulting Group in collaboration with NGIA and the final report and action plan will be presented early in 2019.

Nursery Industry Biosecurity Programs
The two nursery industry biosecurity programs – NY15002 Building the Resilience and On-farm Biosecurity Capacity and NY15004 National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program have both passed their half way point. The projects have continued to meet their milestone requirements and are being reviewed currently. The review reports will be completed in the new year and will provide recommendations on any refinements to the current programs and how they may continue after their current project periods. Nursery industry plant biosecurity activities are an essential component of the work the industry bodies do to ensure we protect your investment in your business.

Global Nursery RD&E Review
I sit on the reference committee for this project and we had a meeting recently reviewing and discussing the draft final report. This is an extremely important project for the nursery and the recommendations and subsequent actions from the report will help contribute to the productivity, profitability and professionalism (3Ps) of the industry. The project was conducted to assist in addressing the delivery of Outcome 4 in the Nursery Industry Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) - Improved productivity, profitability and professionalism through the creation and adoption of innovation and industry Best Management Plans.

Again, the final report for this project will be delivered in early 2019 and will provide the basis and recommendations for investment in RD&E activities in Australia and internationally to develop outputs for the industry.

Christmas, New Year, Festive and Holiday Season

On behalf of the NGIA team, I would like to wish you a very Merry (Murraya) Christmas, a Happy New Year and very safe and enjoyable festive and holiday period. I look forward to working with and for you in 2019 as we continue to promote and progress the interests of the Australian Nursery and Garden Industry.

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