Summer 2015'16

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

Independent Chair, Brian Cunningham, the Board of Potatoes South Australia and our team wish you all a Merry Christmas and a great New Year - we have so much to look forward to in 2016. 
The office will be closed from
Wednesday 23 December 2015 and will re-open
on Monday 11 January 2016

Potatoes South Australia Director appointed to Board of Horticulture Innovation Australia

The newly established grower-owned research and development corporation (RDC) Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) Limited hosted its first Annual General Meeting in Sydney on Friday 27 November 2015.
Four Directors were elected or appointed to the Board of HIA. Susan Finger and Stephen Lynch were elected by members at the AGM, while Mark Napper and Richard Hamley were appointed by the Board.
Richard, Commercial Director- Potatoes, Oakville Produce has been a highly valued Director on the Board of Potatoes South Australia and regrettably, he resigned from this position at our last Board Meeting.   We are thrilled about his appointment to the HIA Board and all congratulate him on his new role.
For more information about the HIA AGM, please click here.

Royal Food and Wine Showcase at Seppeltsfield

I was delighted to be invited by the Government to chaperone HRH, the Prince of Wales during his recent visit to the Barossa Valley, with the Duchess of Cornwall.
At Fino Restaurant, Seppeltsfield, their Royal Highnesses viewed an exhibition that celebrated South Australia’s. world class food and wine products and regional diversity.
Amongst the beautiful product from Ferguson’s Southern Rock lobster and Ginza Miyako sashimi to B-d Farm Paris Creek butter and Hutton Vale lamb was a basket of potatoes.  I steered His Royal Highness towards them and he asked me the variety…..“Royal Blue” of course!  I apologised that it was a Dutch variety; not from the UK! We both laughed and continued a lengthy conversation about the industry, water and soil management, marketing and sustainable agriculture generally. 
I have since sent HRH the Prince of Wales a recipe for gnocchi; a perfect way to enjoy this variety.
So for a moment, potatoes were the feature of the gastronomic display which captured all that this State represents: a producer of the best food in the world!

His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AO, Governor of South Australia, PIRSA Wine Ambassador Paul Henry, The Honourable Geoff Brock, Minister for Regional Development, Robbie Davis, HRH the Prince of Wales, The Honourable Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia 

PIRSA Women Influencing Agribusiness and Regions (WIAR)

Women already play a significant role in South Australian agribusiness.   The Government and industry have recognised that there is enormous potential benefit if there is even greater female industry participation and leadership in the sector.

Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA), in partnership with women in industry and the community have developed the Women Influencing Agribusiness and Regions Strategy to exploit these opportunities.

I am delighted to have been profiled for this Strategy and will work with the PIRSA team to re-position agribusiness, particularly horticulture, to our society by whom it is largely undervalued and misunderstood.

The Women Influencing Agribusiness and Regions (WIAR) Strategy, first launched in September last year recently won the ‘Innovative Women’s Initiative in Business’ category at the Winnovation Awards. The Winnovation Awards, sponsored by Newscorp Australia, PwC and the Government of South Australia, showcase and celebrate the successes of female innovators changing the game in South Australia.  Read more...

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 and STEM project
  • SARMS Transforming Riverland Food Loss and Industry Waste into Profit
To find out more Click here... 

Potatoes NZ appoints new Chief Executive Officer

Last month Potatoes New Zealand appointed Chris Claridge as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Chris studied horticulture at Lincoln University before gaining a Masters in biotechnology at the University of Canterbury.  He founded one of New Zealand’s first organic food exporting businesses and led the Carrickmore dairy export company, developing extensive links in China. He also helped establish the New Zealand Infant Formula Exporters Association and is a member of the Royal Society and the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology.

He is also a former Dean of Business Studies and Senior Lecturer in Management at the Christchurch College of Education, worked as a business advisor for Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce, and ran his own full service agency, specialising in marketing communications, for 11 years.

Potatoes NZ has a target of doubling New Zealand fresh and processed potato exports by 2025.

We are keen to continue to work closely with Potatoes NZ and warmly welcome Chris to his new role.

Growers warn of GST risks

Horticulture producers are warning of a likely surge in food imports if Australia broadens the goods and services tax (GST) to include fresh and packaged grocery lines.

NSW Farmers horticulture committee chairman and Persimmons Australia boss, Brett Guthrey said the sector was not just worried about a backlash from consumers reluctant to pay extra for fresh fruit, vegetables and other foods.

"The last thing the horticulture sector can afford at the moment is the added economic pressure on our farm incomes which is likely to come from several directions if GST is imposed, particularly if the tax jumps above 10 per cent," he said.

Mr Guthrey believed the rising trend in fresh food imports would go much higher, while producers supplying canneries or other processing operations would see a flood of extra imports landed in Australia, pushing local production margins to the limit and potentially forcing more food processing industry closures.  Read more...

Better Export Legislation to facilitate Market Access

The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources has announced that the Government has agreed to develop improvements to export legislation to better support farmers and exporters, and facilitate market access into the future.
This follows the department’s Agricultural Export Regulation Review which included consultation with a wide range of stakeholders over the course of 2015.
The improvements will include:
  • making the rules for exporting easier to understand and apply, and
  • providing a more effective set of enforcement tools.
The reform will be a significant exercise for the department and it is expected to take several years to roll out. This will allow time for further consultation to make sure the legislation is workable and supports exporters.
Stakeholder engagement and consultation will remain a priority throughout the process and updates at key milestones throughout the development of improvements will be provided.
For more information, go to website, or download a fact sheet.
If you have more specific enquiries, please contact

Scholarships and Grants

Agricultural Science Students
The 2016 ‘$5000-a-year scholarships’ are now open for Ag degree students.  This government-funded scholarship supports students studying agriculture-related degrees at University level.  Applications close 19 February 2016 
For additional information click here.

Do you, or someone you know, have what it takes to be a Growing Leader?
Nominations have 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 via email 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.
Click here for the 2016 Program Information and Application Form.

Membership Benefit

We would like to remind all members of the great news regarding supply and purchase of ILD Sinopec lubricants. Why not take advantage of this great deal like KICE Pty Ltd and many other businesses which support those that support us?
ILD Sinopec, one of the largest global manufacturers of lubricants, has joined Potatoes South Australia and is offering a special Potatoes South Australia Member-only, buy price regardless of size or usage, including FREE delivery (conditions apply). The product range has been proven to perform under Australian conditions, particularly in contract mining, agriculture, transport, civil construction and the marine and off shore sectors.
To view the range visit:

The lubricants meet or exceed API and ACEA quality specifications and have OEM approval and sign off from a number of equipment manufacturers including Volvo, Cummins, Mack, MTU, Scania, Deutz, Caterpillar, MAN, Mercedes Benz, Allison, Ford, John Deere, Massey Ferguson, New Holland, ZF, and Toyota.
In addition  ILD Sinopec  would be prepared to offer all members direct Trading Accounts with ILD subject to usual credit  checks etc offering 30 Day EOM terms.
Potatoes South Australia members are offered free technical advice and onsite visits by qualified specialist to assist with lubricant decision making and problem solving.  To ensure best outcomes for all parties ILD Sinopec is offering specific training to Potatoes South Australia members and their employees if required.
Getting Started
Email or call me to establish registration of interest in a quote.  You only have to do this once. This initial process is to ensure the competitive prices are delivered to bona fide Potatoes South Australia members only.
ILD Sinopec recognises the importance of the potato industry and is offering further support to the overall membership base by offering a five percent rebate to Potatoes South Australia of the value of sales.
This is a chance for members to access high quality, proven lubricants at very competitive prices.
Did you know that 95% of potatoes grown in South Australia are grown by members of Potatoes South Australia?

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...


  • Channel 7, Today Tonight, 10 November 2015
  •  “The future in agribusiness looks bright this Christmas….”The Grower Fairfax Media, December 2015
  • “ Ligurian honey fit for a (future) king”, The KI Islander, 19 November 2015
  • PIRSA Women influencing Agribusiness and Regions Strategy, SA Life Food & Wine Volume 3
  • “ Fit for a King“, The Courier 18 November 2015

Please contact me at any time about your issues or about how we can represent you in a better way.
Travel safely this festive season!

Newsletter Contents

Corporate Partners


This Issue's Member Profile


A-GAS Rural

Knocking down nematodes and soil-borne diseases, and supressing weeds – ‘part of the everyday’ for A-Gas Rural.

A-Gas Rural specialises in soil fumigation and soil rehabilitation. We are constantly researching and developing our application techniques to improve soil health and the consequent yield volume and quality. 

Accredited in soil testing and analysis, we can determine the optimum application rates and biological follow-up treatments to ensure optimum soil health.  We are well established with over 30 years’ experience and the business is constantly expanding into new regions and crops.

A-Gas Rural (formally known as SA Rural Agencies) began business over 30 years ago, primarily to offer customers alternatives to the Ozone depleting fumigant – Methyl Bromide.  Since then we have continually improved application techniques to enhance results and improve safety.


A-Gas Rural’s General Manager Matt Stein and Operations Manager Ben Dewit (on the tractor) at a Virginia property

In February 2015, A-Gas Rural conducted a commercial trial of our Telone-Chloropicrin blended fumigants for an Adelaide potato producer.  The sampled results showed a clear improvement in yield giving us great confidence in including the potato industry to our list of satisfied sectors.

If you would like us to develop a soil fumigation plan for you, please contact Matt Stein – General Manager or Ben Dewit – Operations Manager, or any of the team in our Adelaide office on (08) 8347 3838, email or visit their website.



Level 1, 145 South Terrace
Adelaide South Australia

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




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