Celeste Cook: New APPS Administrator and Plant Protection Officer for Tasmania and South Australia.
Greenlife Industry Australia (GIA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Celeste Cook as its new Plant Protection Officer based in Tasmania and South Australia under the levy funded National Biosecurity and Sustainable Plant Production Program (NY20001). Celeste will also take on the new role of Australian Plant Production Standard (APPS) Administrator managing the programs of NIASA, EcoHort and BioSecure HACCP.
With a background in animal and plant biosecurity, horticulture, systems auditing and teaching, Celeste has more than 10 years’ experience working both on-farm, and in consultation services. Her recent appointments include Industry Development Officer for the Australian berry industry (TAS) and Biosecurity Inspector for Biosecurity Tasmania. Celeste is already well acquainted with GIA, having been our Plant Protection Officer in Queensland/Northern NSW from September 2019 through to April 2021 before moving to Tasmania.
Celeste will be contributing to the ongoing development and implementation of the Hort Innovation funded project NY20001 National Biosecurity and Sustainable Plant Production Program, including delivering a range of extension services to improve grower profitability and sustainability underpinned by the APPS programs of NIASA, EcoHort and BioSecure HACCP.
As the APPS Administrator, Celeste will be the first dedicated person to hold such a position only made possible through the national consolidation of the administration of NIASA, EcoHort and BioSecure HACCP in 2017. GIA has been working towards the establishment of the APPS Administrator over the past few years with Celeste now being responsible for the management of the programs focusing on the tasks of national administration, program operation, marketing/promotion, and APPS business development.
Celeste plans to help growers with the successful implementation of robust sustainable plant production, environmental management and plant protection systems that will improve crop management outcomes including system design, irrigation layout, water recycling, informed pesticide selection and use all leading to improved cropping systems.
“I look forward to working alongside Australian growers to develop and implement sustainable plant production systems for the benefit of their businesses, and the industry as a whole,” Celeste said.
“My aim is to promote increased implementation of best management practice including Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and share the benefits of consistent and robust crop monitoring through direct and on-site consultation with growers utilising a repeatable monitoring procedure at a designated frequency to confidently inform management decision making.
“Having an effective plant protection system has many benefits, from decreased pesticide usage, reduced crop damage and throw outs to improved traceability and an understanding of what’s working well in the business.”
As Plant Protection Officer, Celeste will take on the following roles and responsibilities:
Provide on-site support to industry stakeholders in the implementation of key plant production and plant protection aspects of the Australian Plant Production Standard programs.
Contribute to the ongoing development and implementation of the National Biosecurity and Sustainable Plant Production Program; delivering a range of sustainability services across NIASA, EcoHort and BioSecure HACCP.
Industry engagement and liaison with production nurseries, greenlife markets and growing media manufactures across Tasmania and South Australia across all aspects of plant production.
Welcome back to the team Celeste!
If you are a production nursery, greenlife market or growing media manufacturer in Tasmania or South Australia and would like to get in touch with Celeste, she can be contacted at: Celeste.Cook@greenlifeindustry.com.au.
Celeste’s role has been co-funded through GIA’s APPS program and the NY20001 Research Agreement (RA) between Hort Innovation and Greenlife Industry Australia.
The ‘National biosecurity and sustainable plant production program’ (NY20001) project is funded by Hort Innovation using nursery research and development levy and funds from the Australian Government.