Summer 2015

Dear primary producers, processors and all stakeholders in the Potato Industry in South Australia, Australia and internationally. 

I am thrilled to announce a new Gold Corporate Partner
Peats Soils and Garden Supplies
Independent Chair; Brian Cunningham, the Board, industry and I are very grateful for this support.

Owned and managed by Peter Wadewitz and his family, Peats is a second-generation, wholly South Australian company focused on receiving, processing and marketing recyclable organic resources in bulk and bag forms. 

Peats’ vision is to be a world leader in sustainable and innovative organics recycling. A 45 year heritage and passion for organics recycling and the creation of valuable landscaping, garden and horticultural products has given the business a reputation as a true environmental and carbon friendly company.

How Peats can help the Primary Producer
Peats caters to broad acre, vineyards, vegetable growers, orchards, nut growers and turf management specialists with its range of Australian Standard and NASAA certified organic compost, soil, mulch and top-dressing products. Peats uses its own unique Peats SSS™ (Soil Solution System) to tailor-make the most ideal product that will maximise production output and value – considerable experience with Carrot and Potato producers is showing excellent test results to date.

Organics Recycling
Peats receives and processes much of metropolitan Adelaide’s green organics through council kerbside and business collections, as well as food organics from hotels, supermarkets, schools, office buildings, food processors and manufacturers utilising its globally famous BiobiN organic waste collection and on-site processing facilities amongst many other collection methods.

More about Peats
Peats - About Us
Peats - Products
Peats - Blend 437: Aspire to grow the perfect vegetable?
Peats - Blend 437: For Potatoes
Peats - SSS
Peats - Tailormade Solution

For further information please visit Peats website or contact 08 8556 5295.

Elders is continuing its corporate partnership with the Association and we are delighted to have this strong collaboration with Australia’s most historic agribusiness. 

For further information please visit Elders website or contact 08 8425 4000.

Annual Dinner and Auction

Sponsored by Peats Soils and Garden Supplies
Wine sponsors - The Mitolo Group and Hazyblur   
Potatoes were kindly donated by the industry
$9,400 raised for 10kgs of new season baby potatoes!!
The auction of new season baby potatoes, the only one of its kind in Australia, resulted in a final bid of a very impressive $9,400 at the Annual Dinner on 23 October. This was for 10 kgs so that means these very special potatoes actually sold for $940,000 per tonne!  Peter Brinkworth, National Sales and Marketing Manager, Zerella Fresh bid on behalf of the company.  Read More...

Domestic Marketing Campaign

Determined to reverse the trend of declining consumption of fresh potatoes, the Marketing Committee of Potatoes South Australia is working with key stakeholders, including the retailers.
We appreciate that thorough consultation and engagement is critical to the success of our long term ambition.  Following development of a Project Brief, we have now engaged THEM Advertising to commence the research phase.  We are also working with the University of Adelaide.

We plan to deliver a pilot campaign in South Australia, followed by a national campaign. Potatoes are nutritious, convenient, great value and sophisticated, but so few consumers know this.
It is up to the industry to decide, but we are committed to demonstrating how this could be achieved through a proper understanding of what the barrier really is.

Increasing Productivity

The Association has several projects ‘in the pipeline’.
  • Nutrient Management for the Australian Potato Industry
  • PIRSA’S Advanced Food Manufacturing Grants (AFMG - 'Waste' Potato Transformation
To find out more Click here... 

Partnership with Regional Development Australia (RDA) Limestone Coast

Under the PIRSA Clean Green Premium Food and Wine Co-Innovation Cluster funding, the RDA Limestone Coast is partnering with the Association on a suite of marketing and promotional materials to raise the profile of the potato industry.
Activities will include the following:
  • An educational film; “From the Paddock to the Plate – How do your potatoes grow?” featuring a local Chef, Kirby Shearing. Tim Heysen, Kalangadoo will have the lead role!
  • An Industry Profile Document; “Potato Industry Limestone Coast Region”
  • Educational Website
This is unique way in which the Association can profile its members and the region. The film will feature at the region’s Fork and Cork Food and Wine Festival in February 2016.

Visit to Parilla Premium Potatoes by University of Adelaide 1st year Agricultural Science students

Over 60 1st year students travelled to Parilla Premium Potatoes during a week-long field trip in regional South Australia in September. On arrival with Dr Matt Denton, Senior Lecturer in Agronomy, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Phill Gorman, agronomist at Parilla Premium provided a talk about the industry and agronomic practices employed in the diversified farming enterprise.  It was a great pleasure to promote horticulture and diversified primary production practices to this future workforce.

National Residue Survey - Indonesian Government

In a demonstration of Australia’s capability to export to Indonesia, Potatoes South Australia was invited to represent the national industry.
Ian Reichstein, Director National Residue Survey, Federal Department of Agriculture accompanied by Trade & Access Division staff and representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Australian Embassy, Jakarta and from the Indonesian Agricultural Quarantine Agency visited Zerella Fresh at Virginia in September. 

The delegation was provided with a presentation of Zerella Fresh’s operations and food safety systems followed by a tour of the Virginia facility.  Residue monitoring programs (QA programs) along with other monitoring to verify quality elements from farm to pack-house to export were demonstrated.

Review of the Modern Awards - Horticulture Award

The Horticulture Industry in Australia is seriously concerned about a recent decision of the Fair Work Commission in the case of the Mitolo Group.
In March 2014 the Mitolo Group entered into negotiations with its employees for a new enterprise agreement based on its industry award; Horticulture Award 2010.  The duties performed mirror the classifications in the Horticulture Award.  Furthermore the final harvest operations (sorting, washing and packing of potatoes) is carried out on site. The National Union of Workers lodged a dispute to have the agreement rejected on the basis that Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2010 was the applicable award.  Read more...

Northern Adelaide Food Park

The South Australian Government, in collaboration with the Economic Development Board and Food South Australia, has selected the Parafield Airport Cross Keys Precinct as the preferred site for the Northern Adelaide Food Park.  The food park will allow food and beverage manufacturers and processors, and related businesses and service providers to co-locate, with access to infrastructure and services on the one site. Detailed concept, infrastructure and implementation planning has begun, with the State Government allocating $1.994 million over two years to the initiative.

Public consultation for the draft Biosecurity Import Risk Analysis Guidelines under the Biosecurity Act 2015 has commenced

Who does this notice affect?

This notice is for those who are interested in the progress of the exposure draft Biosecurity (Biosecurity Import Risk Analyses) Regulation (BIRA Regulation) 2015 and the draft Biosecurity Import Risk Analysis guidelines 2015 (BIRA guidelines) under the Biosecurity Act 2015.

What has changed?

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the Department) released the draft BIRA guidelines on 16 October 2015 and is inviting comments, as part of the current consultation on the exposure draft BIRA Regulation 2015. The consultation period for both the BIRA guidelines and the BIRA Regulation 2015 will close on 16 December 2015.

Following the release of the draft BIRA guidelines, the submission period for the exposure draft BIRA Regulation 2015 has been extended to 16 December 2015 to allow sufficient time for the review of the guidelines as part of the BIRA Regulation consultation process. You are welcome to provide comments on the BIRA guidelines and BIRA Regulation through the BIRA Regulation 2015 submission process. By providing your views, you will help to ensure that the new BIRA processes and policies are suitable and do not introduce unnecessary red tape, whilst continuing to meet Australia's international rights and obligations. All comments received on the draft BIRA Regulation and guidelines will be considered and where practical, incorporated into the final BIRA Regulation and guidelines.

Information on the draft BIRA guidelines and the exposure draft of the BIRA Regulation 2015 is available here.

Do you, or someone you know, have what it takes to be a Growing Leader?

Nominations have just opened for the vegetable industry's national leadership program, Growing Leaders, which will return in 2016.

The program focuses on giving participants the tools and understanding they need to have a positive impact on their own future, the future of their business and the future of the Australian vegetable industry as a whole.

If you know someone in the vegetable industry who would be keen to join the 100 alumni of this prestigious program, simply contact Rural Training Initiatives  and request an application form before 22 January 2016 to apply. Please note that places are limited.

The program is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

Congratulations to Senator Anne Ruston - we look forward to working with her

South Australian Senator and Federal Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, has been appointed Australia’s first dedicated Minister for Horticulture.

Senator Ruston is based in one of Australia’s largest horticultural regions, South Australia’s Riverland, and has extensive experience in the sector. A grower and irrigator before entering Parliament, Senator Ruston has worked closely with the horticultural industry on issues such as biosecurity, export market access and levies for research and development.  Read more...

Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) - Membership

If you want to actually have influence about how your compulsory levy of 50 cents per tonne is invested, you need to join HIA.  Registration is free.
Potatoes South Australia encourages all Potato Levy Payers and representative organisations to register as members of HIA, the new ‘grower-owned’ Research and Development Corporation for Australian horticulture.

Membership is open to active business entities participating in horticulture industries, including those in growing and harvesting, processing, packing, transporting, marketing, wholesaling, retailing and exporting.

Growers are welcome to register as an individual stakeholder should your company already have a nominated representative. However, please note that HIA accepts only one membership per ABN with one nominated representative.

Members of Horticulture Innovation Australia are invited to attend the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held on Friday 27 November 2015 at The Mint, 10 Macquarie Street, Sydney from 10am.

Click here to view documentation including the Annual Report 2014/15, Notice of Annual General Meeting 2015, Explanatory Note to the Notice of Annual General Meeting 2015 and Question Form.  For membership enquiries please email or phone (02) 8295 2307. 
To download the HIA Membership Application form, please click here


There are many grants and funding options available both at State and Federal levels. For a list of grants which are now open, click here. 



Media Releases
  • $940,000/tonne paid for New Season Baby Potatoes!” 26 October 2015
Information Bulletins
  • Changes to entry conditions for potatoes, to guard against the risk of bacterial wilt of potato (Ralstonia solanacearum Race 3)
  • Federal Government Response to Senate Report on NZ Export of Potatoes, 21 August 2015
  • “China’s Potato Ambitions”, The Grower Fairfax Media, August 2015
  • “The Changes in Training Options for our Workforce", The Grower Fairfax Media, September 2015
  • How do we farm smarter without R&D and without university graduates?”, The Grower, Fairfax Media, November 2015
  • “Half-baked?  Why Australia is getting a raw deal on potatoes?”, Marc Llewellyn, The Guardian (UK), 30 September 2015
  • “New season baby potatoes fetch $940,000/tonne,  FreshPlaza, 26 October 2015


Not a member of Potatoes South Australia yet?

Online registration and payment is now available on the website or download an application formMembership 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...

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


Level 1, 145 South Terrace
Adelaide South Australia

M: +61 427 084 319
P: +61 8 7221 1960


This Issue's Member Profile



Agronico has been helping farmers succeed in potato production for over 20 years. 

Based in Tasmania, we supply superior quality, disease free early generation and final generation potato seed to Australian customers in the fresh and processing potato markets.

Our vertically integrated system controls seed production at every stage; from tissue culture through to the direct supply of seed to our customers.  This system, developed over years of research and product development;

  • Maximises security and reliability of seed production by keeping it all in-house;
  • Ensures a superior level of seed vigour;
  • Virtually eliminates the opportunity for virus infection;
  • Removes the logistical hassle associated with traditional potato seed production supply chains; and,
  • Consistently delivers high yields for our customers.
Our in-house VICSPA accredited laboratory currently holds over 150 varieties of tissue culture.
Minitubers are planted in disease-free soils around Tasmania and field multiplication of minitubers is managed by Agronico’s own agronomy team.
All seed is graded, cut and packed at our own facility.  Our purpose built low impact mesh grader has revolutionised the way that we handle seed potatoes.  The grader has eliminated manual and double handling and caters to a range of size requirements.  Agronico’s innovative cutting process has virtually overcome post-cutting breakdown. 

In addition to the supply of seed potato Agronico Technology provides;
  • Storage of tissue culture;
  • Supply of tissue culture plantlets and minitubers;
  • Import and maintenance services of new or protected varieties, including assistance with obtaining Plant Breeding Rights (PBR);
  • Agronomy evaluation and comparative growing trials of protected or new varieties;
  • Field and storage research services for new and existing potato varieties.

For more information about Agronico’s seed potatoes, varieties available and agronomy services please contact Robert Graham on 0148 142 333, email or visit their website.



Copyright © 2013 Potatoes South Australia Inc
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