Qld shines bright at Hort Con­nec­tions

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - News - PAT HAN­NAN Grow­com CEO

IF THE AUSVEG Grower of the Year award was a State of Ori­gin com­pe­ti­tion Queens­land would be the clear front run­ner, with our grow­ers win­ning four times over the past five years.

This year’s win­ner, an­nounced at the 2017 Hort Con­nec­tions conference, was Lock­yer Val­ley grower An­thony Staatz, from Koala Farms.

An­thony and his wife Diane are well-known for their in­dus­try-lead­ing in­no­va­tion and high qual­ity employment prac­tices.

Grow­com was ex­tremely proud to par­tic­i­pate as a co-host of this year’s his­toric Hort Con­nec­tions conference held in Ade­laide.

This was the first time AUSVEG and PMA Aus­tralia-New Zealand Lim­ited (PMA A-NZ) de­liv­ered a joint in­dus­try conference and trade show.

The conference was by all re­ports a suc­cess, with more than 2500 lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional del­e­gates at­tend­ing and more than 200 trade show stalls.

Grow­com used the event to launch the Fair Farms Ini­tia­tive and con­duct a work­place re­la­tions work­shop.

As­sis­tant Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture Se­na­tor Ann Rus­ton, who for­mally launched Fair Farms, held it up as an ex­am­ple of in­dus­try tak­ing the ini­tia­tive to solve its own prob­lems.

As chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Grow­com, I could not have been more proud of our Queens­land hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try and the Grow­com team that sup­ports it.

It is for this rea­son I would like to see a greater ac­knowl­edge­ment and em­pha­sis within Queens­land of hor­ti­cul­ture lead­ing the way.

Hor­ti­cul­ture (pro­duc­tion and nurs­ery) is col­lec­tively Queens­land’s sec­ond largest agri­cul­tural farm gate com­mod­ity af­ter beef, but it of­ten feels like we are the poor cousin when it comes to me­dia at­ten­tion and gov­ern­ment en­gage­ment.

As a sec­tor, hor­ti­cul­ture is a fas­ci­nat­ing and di­verse in­dus­try with in­cred­i­bly in­no­va­tive grow­ers and busi­nesses.

While we don’t have the ge­o­graphic foot­print of other in­dus­tries, we con­trib­ute more than $2 bil­lion an­nu­ally to the econ­omy and con­tinue to be a ma­jor em­ployer through­out ru­ral and re­gional Queens­land.

Grow­com looks for­ward to co-host­ing the Hort Con­nec­tions conference in Bris­bane next year and show­cas­ing the best the Queens­land hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try along­side the state gov­ern­ment with me­dia.

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