Winter 2016

Dear primary producers, processors and all stakeholders in the Potato Industry in South Australia, Australia and internationally.  We are announcing some very significant and exciting achievements!!

Potatoes South Australia/Rabobank/RuralCo Scholarship Winner Announced

Big Congratulations to Peter Cooper, Parnlee, Kangaroo Island who has been awarded this prestigious industry award.
It will provide 75% of the fee to attend Rabobank’s Executive Development Program - a ‘mini-MBA’ for leading primary producers across Australia and New Zealand.  A residential program consisting of two modules, the course covers all aspects of business management including strategic goal setting, negotiation, risk management and leadership.  It is held over two years.
The ‘runners-up, were John Dellazoppa, Hilltop Produce and Peter Scaman, Oakville Produce.
We congratulate all candidates and we are delighted to have partnered with Ruralco and Rabobank to enable the offering of this high level executive training initiative to the industry.

Arris Pty Ltd and industry partners awarded National Potato Industry R&D Extension Program under HIA

On behalf of the industry I am delighted to advise that national agribusiness consultancy Arris Pty Ltd with its head office in South Australia, has been contracted to deliver R&D Extension services to the industry across all sectors for the next three years (2016’19).  The program proposal was supported by a large consortia of industry representatives from all over Australia.
Arris’s plan is to develop a database of Australian and international experts in both extension and research and seek direction from the industry on what it wants in terms of delivery mechanisms and research topics to be delivered.
A Reference Group will advise HIA Ltd and work closely with the Communications Program which will be delivered by Ausveg.  This will ensure that relevant information is disseminated to industry in the most appropriate way.

PMA Aust + NZ Fresh Connections 2017 in Adelaide, South Australia

PMA Fresh Connections 2017, the premier networking, educational and business event for the entire fresh fruit, vegetable and floral industries of Australia and New Zealand will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre 16-18 May next year.  This is the first time the event has been convened in South Australia and will be in collaboration with Potatoes South Australia.
Adelaide is Australia's food and wine capital! In fact, the food and wine industry is worth over $17 billion and accounts for 40% of South Australia's total merchandise exports. 

Save the date for PMA Fresh Connections 2017 and come and see this vibrant, bustling city in action!
For more information please visit the website. 
If you are interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Fresh Connections please contact us.

Horticulture Award Review and Union Claims

Potatoes South Australia continues to support all of horticulture concerning the Review of the Modern Awards and increasing union activity at horticulture businesses particularly on the Northern Adelaide Plains.
The modern award review process is well underway for group 4 under which the Horticulture Award sits.  The commission is currently hearing “common issues” in relation to award changes, with any major claims being heard in the second half of this year and possibly into the beginning of next year. 
The Australian Industry Group (AiG), on behalf of its members and representing other industry bodies, applied to the commission to have the matter of the coverage clause heard before a full bench.  At this stage the commission has not called on detailed submissions in relation to the proposed coverage clause changes.

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s office has been contacting horticultural businesses in relation to the Vegetable Packing Audit findings; some are being asked to either present more information or to attend a meeting in relation to their findings.  Many businesses were audited late last year which involved a site tour of the premises, employee interviews and an audit of pay and employment conditions.
Concerning individual awards, it is critical that integrity around an industry sector is retained and that there is no disaggregation.

Our Current Projects

The Association has several projects ‘in the pipeline’.
  • PIRSA’S Advanced Food Manufacturing Grants AFMG - 'Waste' Potato Transformation and STEM project
  • SARMS Transforming Riverland Food Loss and Industry Waste into Profit
To find out more Click here... 

Other News

The Biosecurity Act 2015 has commenced

There has been positive feedback to Australia’s new biosecurity act from stakeholders. 

The Australian Government, through the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, advises that as of 16 June 2016, the Biosecurity Act has replaced the Quarantine Act, as the primary piece of commonwealth biosecurity legislation in Australia.  Its aim is to safeguard primary producers, the environment and people from exotic pests and diseases, while enabling trade.

The Biosecurity Act has been developed in consultation with industry, agricultural stakeholders, state and territory governments, environmental groups, health professionals, international trading partners and the general public.
Read more here.

Australia’s clean and green image is no longer enough

Healthy, convenient consumer products targeting a growing middle class will be the winners in China’s new economy, but long-term success relies on adapting to rapidly changing consumers, says expert.

According to market experts, to succeed in China, brands could no longer rely solely on Australia’s clean and green image with mass market strategies.

Ongoing issues with food safety and quality, rising incomes, effects of urbanisation and an ageing and stressed population is expected to see China’s growing health and wellness market hit almost $70 billion by 2020. Chinese consumers are some of the world’s most health conscious with 73 per cent prepared to pay a premium for products deemed healthier – 12 points higher than the global average.

Fifty per cent of Chinese are now focused on eating healthy and nutritious foods, and food safety is a growing concern with 72 per cent now worried the food they eat is harmful (up from 60 per cent in 2012.

However, country of origin and Australia’s clean and green image are no longer enough. The Australian made logo is not widely understood and, while there are moves afoot to update this, consumer suspicion means there still needs to be a credible ‘reason to believe’. Read more here

Farmers call for clarity: ATO advises backpacker tax changes to take effect from July 1 after all
The Australian Tax Office has advised farmers that controversial backpacker tax increases will take effect from July, despite Federal Government assurances that the changes have been delayed until January.
The Queensland Farmers Federation (QFF) sought clarification from the ATO after its members said they had been told to start charging the new tax from the new financial year. Read more here.

Horticulture producers told to plan for the future as the supermarket price war continues
As the supermarket price war gains momentum, horticulture producers were told to plan for the future at the NSW Farmers’ Association Horticulture Forum last week.
Consumer goods sector consultant Tristan Kitchener, of Kitchener Partners, painted a gloomy future of cut-price produce and food, but said there were tools to employ. Read more here.

Changes to major retailer food safety audits
Major grocery retailers and the horticultural industry have agreed to streamline fresh produce safety requirements lowering the cost of doing business and improving food safety across the fresh produce supply chain in Australia.
This initiative is being collaboratively driven by Horticulture Innovation Australia using cross-industry levy funds, with support from the nation’s leading retailers – ALDI, Coles, Costco, Metcash (IGA) and Woolworths.
Fact Sheet


Business SA 2016 Export Awards

Business SA 2016 Export Awards celebrate exporting excellence in South Australia by recognising the most dynamic and innovative businesses in the State.
Join Constellation Wines, Codan Limited, Almondco Australia Limited, Seeley International, OZ Minerals, Flight Training Adelaide and Rising Sun Pictures – all of whom have been acknowledged for their outstanding export success with a Business SA Export Award.
As a winner, you’ll be recognised as an exporting expert and have the opportunity to represent South Australia as a finalist in the Australian Export Awards.
Be recognised for your exporting achievements and enter the Business SA 2016 Export Awards.
Potatoes South Australia is a member of Business SA.
View event flyer.


Biennial Potato Industry Conference Bendigo Victoria 7-9 August 2016

ViCSPA, an independent provider of Seed Certification and other services to the Australian Potato Industry is convening a Potato Industry Conference at the Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo, next month.
Supported by Syngenta, the 2016 program will target key production and industry issues to help grow the industry and ensure that you have access to the latest information to grow your business.
Please see the Postcard below for conference details.  If you require any other information please contact ViCSPA on (03) 5962 0000 or email conference organisers. Registrations are now open...
I look forward to seeing you there! View event flyer.


For a full list of current available grants click here.


 Media Release
  • “Kangaroo Island potato producer takes out prestigious industry award”, Rabobank, RuralCo, Potatoes South Australia, 7 June 2016
  • “Food Loss and Farm Waste-a regional opportunity”, PIRSA 26 May 2016
  • “Tax to hinder labour force”, Fairfax Smart Farmer, May 2016
  • “Graduate totals must rise”, Fairfax Smart Farmer, June 2016

Rabobank Scholarship Regional Summit, Mt Gambier
  • “Regional Summit draws a crowd”, Stock Journal, 9 June 2016
  • “The Mount hosts regional forum”, Border Watch, 10 June 2016

Not a member of Potatoes South Australia yet?

Online registration and payment is now available on the website or download an application form.  Membership has many valuable benefits; the most important is being a part of an organisation which has delivered significant achievements for the industry at both a state and national level.  To view a full list of these achievements click here...

Did you know that 95% of potatoes grown in South Australia are grown by members of Potatoes South Australia?

Please contact me at any time about your issues or about how we can represent you in a better way.

Newsletter Contents

Corporate Partners

This Issue's Member Profile


Agricrop, a wholly Australian owned company located in Brisbane, aims to be the first choice supplier of Biorational and Crop Stress Management products for plants.   The business’s principal activity is making new products available to Australian producers.
Joint proprietors Jim Lyons and Stewart Frankling have agricultural chemical backgrounds and want the producer to know exactly what is in the products sold and used. This is Agricrop’s point of difference.
Through the innovative use of bio-stimulants, unique crop productivity compounds and amino acid chelation technology, Agricrop can deliver the tools that producers require to mitigate  the effects of crop stress, whether from key growth stage physiological stress like flowering and fruit fill, or environmental causes such as heat, chill or moisture deficiency.
Agricrop is also a supplier and marketer of crop protection technologies and nutritional inputs in horticulture, viticulture, forestry, sugarcane and broad acre markets throughout Australia.
With experienced territory managers supporting the product range in all key regions, it is well positioned to work with producers and agronomists to deliver credible solutions to crop productivity challenges.  Agricrop has a proven track record of delivering positive results to growers for over 14 years.
The Partnership
Earlier this year, Agricrop submitted a proposal to utilise the services of the Potatoes South Australia network, and the Elders agronomy team to focus on three key products from Agricrop, in order to enhance potato productivity and quality and the overall sustainability of potato producers and processors.  Agricrop is now a Silver Sponsor of Potatoes South Australia.
Elders Limited has a long and successful history of working with the potato industry and is presently a Gold partner with Potatoes South Australia.
Through its key branches and experienced agronomists, Elders will play a key role in working with Agricrop personnel to detail and integrate the listed Agricrop products into the production programs of producers who choose to join the program.
Elders will nominate a specific agronomist from each of its key potato servicing branches to work in conjunction with an Agricrop agronomist on the partnership.
Agricrop proposes that the triangular partnership adopt the following products for collaborative introduction and assessment.  Producers who choose to co-operate in this program will be able to purchase these products at 50% of the usual invoice price in the first season.
Initially, the program will be based on three products, namely IrriGate (soil surfactant), Photon 500SG (stress management) and TrifixN (foliar applied atmospheric nitrogen).


For further information visit the Agricrop website


Two new Associate Members, OG Roberts & Co. and Baldwin Filters are offering exclusive benefits to Potatoes South Australia members.  Click on the links below for further information:

OG Roberts & Co.
Baldwin Filters



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Adelaide South Australia

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