This Tuesday I had the pleasure of visiting the Victorian Trade Day and the Australian Horticultural Trials Week with our new CEO, Joanna Cave. Trade Day was busy, with plenty of retailers on site and this reflected the quality of the stock and the enthusiasm and buoyancy of the market.
There were also quite a few buyers from interstate, who were in attendance for Trials Week. The morning kicked off with an opening address by The Honourable Mary-Anne Thomas MP, Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development and was followed by a tour of Trade Day, Ball Australia, Mansfield’s Propagation Nursery, Haars Nursery, JD Propagation and TGA Australia. A few observations are noteworthy:
Advocacy with government officials is a critical element of our industry’s strategy at State and Federal level. The presence of the Minister to open Trade Day and Trials Week is the result of several complicated engagements by the NGIV with government officials over a long period. This work mostly goes unseen and is generally undervalued by our industry. It bears fruit when Craig Taberner (NGIV CEO) or Simon Gomme (NGIV President) need to resolve an issue with the Victorian Government, and they can pick up a phone and the official at the other end knows the industry and trusts the communication channel. I also note the success that the NGIV has been having with Victorian Government Grants, and this is also an important result of all that hard work. This is tremendous value you are getting for your membership.
From Left to Right: Craig Taberner CEO NGIV, The Honourable Mary-Anne Thomas MP, Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development, Simon Gomme Powerplants, Joanna Cave incoming GIA CEO, Glenn Fenton, GIA President (Image: Matthew Ross, NGIV)
Labour shortages are a consistent issue raised by several businesses. We are all aware of the labour shortages faced by agriculture and horticulture more widely now. It is not expected that this issue will be resolved until international borders are fully opened, and seasonal workers can come in and take the pressure off an over-extended contract labour force. GIA will continue to monitor developments and advocate where necessary.
Joanna and I welcomed the trial work being undertaken by Ball Australia in resolving quarantine inspection delays. However, delays are still occurring with many nurseries losing considerable amounts of tissue culture or vegetative material. If your business is experiencing such delays, please let your state industry association know as soon as possible, so that the matter can be pursued by GIA at the highest levels. Last time I met with the Federal Agriculture Minister, the Hon David Littleproud MP, he expressed his concern at these delays and their impact on the industry and he wants to be kept informed about any delays.
(Image: Matthew Ross, NGIV)
Cost of inputs to the supply chain
This was raised by several businesses in the supply chain and was raised by me in a previous E-news. A webinar will be announced shortly to bring these issues together.
Thank you to Simon Gomme, Craig Taberner and the team at NGIV for organising our visit and tour of nurseries. Joanna was completely immersed in the industry and suitably impressed. I am sure Joanna will have more to say about it in due course.
On behalf of the greenlife industry I would like to thank the staff at GIA for their support during a difficult year. Merry Christmas and take care.
Swinburne at Ball Australia (Image: Matthew Ross, NGIV)
(Image: Matthew Ross, NGIV)
Garden Centres Australia (Image: Matthew Ross, NGIV)