CEO Update June 2019

What a momentous month for the Nursery & Garden Industry of Australia and its members and a momentous finish to the 2019 financial year.

Greenlife Industry Australia Decision:
After three and a half years of consultation, debate, reporting and at times robust discussion, a unanimous decision was made by Nursery & Garden Industry members to support the establishment of Greenlife Industry Australia at the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held on 12 June. This marks a significant milestone in the history of the nursery industry association.
The decision of members has been acknowledged by industry stakeholders as important, and an affirmation that the industry structure needed to change, for the national nursery industry representative body to be contemporary and innovative. There is increasing demand for greenlife across Australia due to the social, economic and environmental benefits it provides. Greenlife Industry Australia will help to facilitate and promote the production of high health, true to type planting material across the range of customer groups from independent retailers, to landscapers and to fruit, vegetable and nut producers.
NGIA & GIA will work in parallel for a period of time, to allow the transition and transfer of projects, assets, intellectual property and activities to GIA and allow the systematic winding up of NGIA the business.
The Greenlife Industry Australia Director designates of Karen Brock, Ben Grange, Glenn Fenton and Brian Acworth met immediately after the EGM to discuss the immediate issues around governance, finance, staff, administration, communication and strategy development. The first meeting of the Greenlife Industry Australia Board will be held on 8 July. Greenlife Industry Australia Limited will be registered as a company with ASIC with the Constitution and Consents to Act as Director completed.
NGIA Board:
The NGIA Board also conducted a meeting on 12 June to coincide with the EGM. The Directors discussed the implications of the establishment of Greenlife Industry Australia and their role going forward. They also worked through NGIA governance, strategy, staffing, the farm management system, Hort Innovation and the National Conference in March 2020. Karen Brock and Ben Grange will provide continuity of operation of the NGIA/GIA Boards given their positions on both.
Hort Connections:
Hort Connections, the production horticulture conference run by AusVeg and PMA, with NGIA as one of 18 industry partners was conducted over the last week of June. NGIA has been a partner for three years now when Hort Connections commenced, with the original aim to engrain the nursery industry as the beginning of the horticulture fruit, vegetable and nut production supply chain.
There was a strong presence of nursery industry representatives at the conference with Boomaroo Nurseries being a significant supporter. Boomaroo hosted speaker sessions on career pathways and launched “Schools on Farms”. They also sponsored the Women in Horticulture speaker session and a general session on the importance of innovation, traceability, agricultural sustainability and business efficiency for the sector.
The Conference has a number of keynote plenary session speakers including Dr Sandro Demaio from Ask the Doctor on Growing a Healthier Food Future for a 10 Billion Population World; Adam Liaw on Australia’s Vegetable Frontier; and endurance athlete Samantha Gash on Life Outside the Comfort Zone.
On Trend: If you want to be “on-trend” from a dietary point of view then the buzz word from the conference was “Flexitarian”. The Flexitarian Diet is a style of eating that encourages mostly plant-based foods while allowing meat and other animal products in moderation. It's more flexible than fully vegetarian or vegan diets. Also, on-trend was the use of plant based or whole food diets instead of vegan.
Business Insurance:
The issue of business insurance has been raised by a number of members with reference to higher premiums and less coverage, in particular around natural disaster damage. Karen Brock, Hamish Mitchell and I met with representatives from Arthur Gallagher’s in June to discuss the issues and try and determine an approach forward. The main sticking point identified by Gallagher’s as the agent is that the “underwriters don’t have an appetite for this type of risk and insurance”. As an action from the meeting we will provide Gallagher’s with a more comprehensive overview of the industry so they can then develop a better risk mitigation scenario and strategy to take to the underwriters.
Gold Logie:
Finally, let’s try and get a Gold Logie for Costa on Sunday 30 June and on the front page of the newspapers on Monday 1 July. Voting closes after the red carpet at 7.28 pm on Sunday 30th June. A win for Costa will be a win for the industry.
NNN Newsletter:
This will be the final NNN newsletter under NGIA as we will start to work under the name of Greenlife Industry Australia once it is registered as a business. Thank you for your readership and we look forward to it continuing into the future under Greenlife Industry Australia.
Questions or Comments:
As usual if you have any questions or comments please send them to