CEO Update March

Welcome to the March 2019 version of the NNN newsletter. I hope that autumn is progressing well from a production and retail point of view. I will provide an update on the key activities and projects progressed by NGIA over the last month.

NGIA Board Meeting
The NGIA Board met on 26 March in Melbourne to coincide with MIFGS. The Board covered a range of issues including the new national industry entity reinvention project, corporate governance, financials, NGIA strategy, the nursery production farm management system - NIASA, EcoHort and BioSecure HACCP, Hort Innovation interaction on R&D and marketing projects, the NGIA Conference in Perth in March 2020 and the review of the Australian Garden Centre Accreditation Scheme review.

More details on the national reinvention process is contained in the article in this newsletter and a letter from Transition Team Chair - Russ Higginbotham and a Frequently Asked Questions brochure have been mailed to all members. A dedicated website for the project has been established and the address is -

Research and Development Projects:
NGIA works with Hort Innovation on the following R&D Projects:

Nursery Industry Plant Biosecurity - There is the overarching national Biosecurity Project (NY15004) which oversights the biosecurity resilience (NT15004) and improving pest management (NY17009) project. The two biosecurity projects are due to finish late in 2020. They have been reviewed recently and plans will now be progressed for how these projects may continue into the future. We will work with you and other industry stakeholders to ensure the right plant biosecurity risks, issues and activities are addressed going forward.

Career Pathways Strategy - the most important issue and challenge for industry is how to attract, develop and retain staff in the industry. The NGIA and RMCG project is about to be completed with a strategy based around industry promotion, defining jobs roles in nursery businesses, human resource management, a career pathway model and employment policies being proposed for progression. There is a webinar on 17 April which will run through the findings and recommended strategies from the project.

Nursery Industry Statistics - the results of the production nursery, retail nursery and landscape industry production, sales and purchasing surveys have been collated and analysed. A media release will be distributed on 29 March and an inforgraphic on the key stats will be released soon. There will be a nursery paper and updated business benchmarking data tool provided in May. The information and data that has been collected and analysed is excellent and indicated a very positive and buoyant industry. There is strong confidence in the industry with significant investment in infrastructure, technology, education and training.

Australian Standard AS2303:2018 Tree Stock for Landscape Use - the Australian Standard was finalised late in 2018 and has been extended through workshops across the country. The workshops were very well attended by nursery, landscape and local government representatives. More information on the Standard and the workshops is contained in the April Nursery Paper.Supporting the standard is the development of a module for NIASA which will allow NIASA accredited businesses to be audited on aspects which contribute to the production of treestock which meet the standard.

Nursery Industry Levy Funded Communications - this project is continuing with NGIA working with Cox Inall Communications. If you are a levy payer then I would encourage you to at least receive the communications from this project, be it through social media, the Your Levy @ Work enews, case studies, media releases or articles. There are many opportunities and outputs for you to adopt in your business to improve your productivity and profitability but you can only do this if you know about them. If you are not happy with the communications on levy activities then complete the communications survey here to have your say on what could be modified or improved. Think of the levy investment as any other investment you make to (hopefully) get a return from it.

Levy Funded Marketing Activities:
The 202020 Vision is continuing to focus on the four key audiences of Government, Business, Community and the Consumer. They are the target audience as they control the land, businesses and properties where purchased plants are grown - inside and out. The 202020 Vision continues to highlight the benefits of greenlife across all areas of our lives, however, it is in the process of being renamed and positioned given it is date restricted by 2020. A survey has been circulated through the 202020 Vision enews for you to have you say on the naming going forward.

Plant Life Balance (PLB) is continuing as the consumer campaign with a focus on indoor plants. There are mixed views on the success or lack of success of the PLB campaign but it will continue in its current form in the near future. There is always the opportunity for you to have you say on PLB and all marketing activities through NGIA, your State Association or the nursery industry Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP).

NGIA is a partner in the Landscape Irrigation Conference and Exhibition 18 - 29 June Gold Coast and Hort Connections 24 - 26 June Melbourne. NGIA is a partner to help promote and engender the nursery industry to the important supply chain markets of landscape and production horticulture. There are opportunities for NGI members to attend, exhibit and sponsor with the conferences to help promote and raise the profile of your business to these customer bases.

International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH):
I am attending the next meeting of AIPH in the Netherlands in the first week of April. Of particular interest are a Sustainability Conference, an update on global Horticultural Expos (including Beijing this year where Australia will be represented with a garden) and a Green Cities Forum. It also provides an opportunity to engage, interact and network with like minded organisations around the world.

Questions or Comments:
As usual if you have any questions or comments please send them to