CEO Report | Transition and Changing of the ‘Seasons’
By Peter Vaughan
As we come to the end of Autumn and transition to Winter, it is a different situation to what was being experienced this time in 2020. Last year the messaging was all around, “As an industry we cannot afford to become complacent and undo all the good work that has been undertaken to keep the greenlife, nursery, garden, landscape and horticulture industries operating and able to trade.”
It was all about washing hands well and regularly, maintain good hygiene and keeping a 1.5 metre distance and it is vital the Government guidelines around these measures are adhered to for you, your staff and your customers safety. These are still important messages to keep in mind given the evolving situation in Victoria again.
As we transition to Winter in 2021, there will be more opportunity to take stock, conduct maintenance, continuing preparation for Spring and potentially take a break, compared to last year. It appears that greenlife trading has settled down as we all work in a ‘new’ operating environment. In this update I will provide details on other changes and transitions across the industry.
Greenlife Industry Australia Staff
Two long term GIA (and NGIA) staff will be transitioning from the organisation over the next month or so. Kobie Keenan (17 years) and Heather Henderson (20 years) have both decided to head to green(life)er pastures. Both have made a significant and valuable contribution to the association, members and the industry generally during their tenures. In particular with the organisation and delivery of the national conference and many of the great stories from the conference will go with them. I know you will all join me in wishing Kobie and Heather all the best for the future.
Polypropylene Plant Packaging Recycling (PoPPr) Program
The PoPPr program is about to transition to its next phase of operation. Stage 1 – Business Case Development is close to completion and it will be reviewed by the Working Group at a meeting planned for 22 June. The session will review the final business case, which clearly articulates the requirement behind the development of a National program and provides the foundation to move to Stage 2 – Scheme Design. This is an important program for the industry as we continue to demonstrate or sustainability credentials, in particular with our use and recycling of plastic in plant packaging.
One of the last jobs for Kobie this week is to finalise and submit the final report for the levy funded Nursery Industry Statistics Project. The project was established, following the successful completion of a pilot project in 2017 and has run for three years. For the first time, the industry now has accurate data on value, production, productivity and confidence to invest. A new phase of the project has been recommended, to transition and progress from this project, so we can obtain further longitudinal data for the industry.
Nursery Industry Careers Pathway Project
Another project due for completion in the next month is the levy funded Nursery Industry Careers Pathway project. The importance of this project should not be underestimated as the ability to attract, train, develop and retain a productive workforce constantly is rated a priority for the industry to address. The most telling statistic on this is that only 15% of the workforce is aged under 39. Some of the outputs from the project to address this issue are the Greenlife Careers Hub Website, Greenlife Careers Pathway Guide, Career Case Studies, Greenlife Guide for Careers and Education and Training Information. There are a number of recommendations for the continuation and transition of the project and activities to ensure this vital activity continues to be addressed going forward.
Nursery Industry Strategic Investment Plan (SIP)
The nursery industry SIP is in the process of being ‘refreshed’ to guide R&D and marketing levy investment by Hort Innovation over the next five years. A draft of the SIP is now available for review and consultation following initial industry engagement by Hort Innovation. They welcome further discussion and comments to ensure “the final SIP represents a balanced view of stakeholders from across each industry, helping Hort Innovation prioritise and implement relevant R&D, marketing and export needs over the next five years.”
The Draft SIP contains the following four outcomes:
Demand Creation - Contribute to increasing consumer knowledge, attitudes, and purchase intent to drive volume growth.
Industry Supply, Productivity and Sustainability - Improve industry productivity (inputs/outputs) to maintain competitiveness and viability and sustainability of supply.
Extension and Capability - Building capability and innovative culture.
Business Insights - Measurement of industry supply (production) and demand (consumer market) data to support decision making.
If you require any further information, have an interest, have advice, want to provide a comment and/or be involved in addressing any of the industry challenges or opportunities, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org