As we head towards Christmas, it is heartening to see our domestic borders reopening and life hopefully returning to a ‘new normal’ (fingers crossed!). However, the presence of COVID-19 may be felt for some time yet, as the virus and other pressures continue to negatively impact the greenlife supply chain.
Today, I visited the Nursery and Garden Industry Victoria’s (NGIV) Trade Day in Skye. It was great to see this important institution return to its normal cycle after the lockdowns of the last couple of months. Retailers were in good attendance and reports from growers were positive. Next month, the NGIV will host the Australian Horticultural Trials Week (7-10 December 2021), where growers’ new varieties will be on show. Given the growth and level of interest in greenlife now, I expect it to be a raging success. I look forward to attending other industry events and chatting with members as lockdowns and restrictions ease.
I have recently received several emails from concerned suppliers of inputs into the greenlife supply chain. They were flagging increasing cost pressures they have absorbed and are expected to face over the coming months. Fertiliser, chemicals, and potting mix inputs such as coir and peat, plastic, and polypropylene are all affected. This is not unique to our industry. Other industries are reporting huge increases in international freight, overseas shortfalls in production due to labour shortages, and the effects of COVID related shutdowns in Europe, America, and Asia. It is important that GIA fully understands the magnitude of this issue and that we inform the supply chain and what projections are expected over the coming 12 – 18 months.
Growers and retailers need to also understand these forecasts and how they can factor them into prices and contracts going forward. To facilitate this, I will soon be announcing a GIA webinar to bring together representatives from the supply chain to talk about the projected costs of inputs and facilitate discussions with growers and retailers. GIA can use this information to inform all retailers to pass on costs where appropriate. GIA will lobby the Federal Government to reduce or minimise choke points and administrative delays affecting the arrival of imports into the country. If you are interested in getting involved in the webinar as a presenter, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual General Meeting
The GIA Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held virtually on Wednesday 23 November 2021. The notice of AGM and Annual Report have been distributed for your information and can also be found on the GIA website. I look forward to seeing you there.