2014/2015 Summer Review

Dear primary producers, processors and all stakeholders in the Potato Industry in South Australia, Australia and internationally.  Welcome to our first Newsletter for 2015. The year has commenced in earnest with our first Board Meeting held on 18 February confirming the Association’s direction for this year regarding the continued provision of relevant, value-adding cost-effective services to unify and build this industry.  Now it is full steam ahead!

Fair Work Commission:  The Mitolo Group vs National Union of Workers (NUW)

This case will set a precedent for Australian Horticultural and Agricultural vertically integrated businesses.
Potatoes South Australia has been working with The Mitolo Group concerning its appeal against Deputy President Bartel’s decision handed down in the Fair Work Commission on the 31st October 2014.The Mitolo Group Horticultural Production Employees Collective Agreement 2014 was not approved due to Deputy President Bartel assessing the Storages and Services and Wholesale Award as the applicable award, not the Horticulture Award.  Read More...

Update of the status of the request by New Zealand to export fresh potatoes for processing

We met with Nadia Bouhafs, Assistant Secretary, Biosecurity Regulation and Reform Policy Branch, Department of Agriculture last month for an update.
Regarding to the status of the request by NZ, the draft report for the review of import conditions for fresh potatoes for processing from New Zealand was issued for a 60 day stakeholder comment period back in 3 July 2012 and the Department received 27 submissions, including one from Potatoes South Australia.  The Association was also first witness at the Senate Inquiry held in October 2012.
The review was undertaken as a non-regulated risk assessment (a review of existing policy as trade has previously occurred) and is only for New Zealand potatoes that will be processed and packaged into products such as a chips, hash browns and crisps. No fresh New Zealand potatoes will be available for sale.
The Department continues to assess the issues raised in the submissions, and the latest scientific information, relevant to developing a final report. No final policy position has been reached yet. Once a final policy position is reached, and if it recommends that imports can occur, operational requirements will need to be developed so any final import conditions can be implemented to Australia's satisfaction.
The Department will provide a presentation to the Board of Potatoes South Australia and the industry when a decision has been determined.


Update on Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA)

We are all very keen to learn about the structure of HIA (following the HAL Review) and how the industry will be directly involved at the producer-level in the allocation of levy funding for R&D purposes. Read More...

World Potato Congress Beijing, China 28-30 July 2015

The World Potato Congress Inc (WPC) is dedicated to supporting the global growth and development of the potato by bringing together the broad potato industry represented by both developing and developed countries. It facilitates the building of a network of global potato stakeholders and since 1993, the WPC has been the proud sponsor of the world’s most diverse potato conference.

The 2015 Congress to be convened in Yanqing, Beijing 28-30 July is themed, “Develop Together for a Better Future”, and close to 1000 delegates including producers, processors, researchers, wholesalers, marketers and exporters are expected to attend. 

Potatoes South Australia is collaborating with Potatoes New Zealand to develop an ‘ANZAC’ delegation.

It is anticipated that the cost will be $5000-6,000 including airfares, accommodation and registration.

Landmark will provide financial assistance for up to eight delegates in a partnership arrangement with Potatoes South Australia.  We are greatly appreciative of this generous investment in the industry. Read More...

Rabobank Potatoes South Australia Scholarship

This partnership illustrates the critical importance of continuing education and training to both organisations and our determination to invest in the industry’s future leaders.

Applications for the “Rabobank Potatoes South Australia 2014 Industry Award” are now open.  This is the second year that the award has run with Justin Della Zoppa from Waikerie being the inaugural winner of this award.

Jointly funded by Potatoes South Australia and Rabobank, it provides a fully-funded placement in the residential Farm Managers Program to be held at Grange Cleveland Winery, Victoria from Monday 15 to Friday 19 June 2015.  The scholarship is open to farm managers and farm employees in South Australia under the age of 45 years.  Click here to view the Business Programs flyer...
Letters and application forms will be sent to industry stakeholders in early March however any eligible applicant is invited to apply.  Click here to download the application form...
Applications for this award close on Friday 27 March 2015.

Biosecurity SA

Potatoes South Australia has been invited to represent the industry on the following New Working Groups/Panels:
  • Plant Health Market Access Program Working Group
  • Plant Biosecurity Technical Reference Panel
The first meeting of the Plant Health Market Access Program Working Group is on Thursday 12 March.  This program facilitates interstate trade in fruit and vegetables through inspection, certification and accreditation of product.  The Working Group will advise on appropriate cost recovery and removal of red tape.

Government tightens rules on foreign purchases of agricultural land

From 1 March the Federal Government will reduce the screening threshold for reporting of foreign purchases of agricultural land from $252 million to $15 million.  The new $15 million screening threshold will apply to the cumulative value of agricultural land owned by the foreign investor, including the purposed purchase.  The Government will also establish a foreign ownership register of agricultural land to strengthen reporting requirements and provide a clear picture of foreign investment in Australia’s agricultural sector.

From 1 July 2015 the Australian Tax Office (ATO) will start collecting information on all new foreign investment in agricultural land regardless of value.  The ATO will also commence a stocktake of existing agricultural land ownership by foreign interests.

The Federal Government will continue to work with State and Territory Governments so that the ATO register will use land title transfer information.

$500,000 Funding on offer to create Innovative Foods

Creating South Australia’s next innovative food product is on the menu for local food manufacturers and researchers as part of a State Government program.

The Advanced Food Manufacturing (AFM) grants program supports co-funded projects that develop new or improved food products or manufacturing processes through the commercialisation of research.  It helps to deliver the State Government’s strategic priority of Premium Food and Wine from our Clean Environment.

Expressions of Interest for Round 2 of the program are open with grants of between $25,000 and $100,000 available for approved projects.

Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister Leon Bignell said developing innovative food products was crucial to opening new markets, increasing exports, and boosting profitability for the state’s food manufacturers.

The food industry generated a record $15.3 billion for the state’s economy in 2013-14 and this program offers opportunities to grow our food industry and economy even further by supporting local food manufacturers and researchers to work together to develop innovative product development.

Potatoes South Australia in collaboration with the University of South Australia and Safcol is submitting a proposal for this grant.  Watch this space!


The Association has several projects ‘in the pipeline’.
  • Nutrient Management for the Australian Potato Industry
  • Asian Business Engagement (ABE) Plan
To find out more Click here...


The Association has been involved in the following:
Media Releases
  • “Harvest underway in Potato R&D Trials in South Australia’,19 January 2015
  • "The Rural Entrepreneur-the future of farming”, The Grower/Stock Journal, December 2014
  • “Potatoes key to Chinese Security”, The Grower/Stock Journal, February 2015
  • “SA Potato growers disappointed with sale of McCain’s Penola facility to beef company”, Potatopro, 29 December 2014
  • “Rural Solutions SA Dr Melissa Fraser says perfecting nutrient regimes is vital to the future of Australian potato growing", ABC Rural, 20 January 2015
  • “McCain’s sells Penola site to Midfield Group”, FreshPlaza, 24 January 2015
  • “Potatoes SA to push for national marketing campaign despite industry criticism” ABC Rural, 27 January 2015
  • “Potatoes SA continues push for marketing campaign”, FreshPlaza,  28 January 2015
  • “SA potato trials harvest underway”, Ashley Walmsley, Good Fruit and Vegetables, February 2015
  • Elise Fantin, South East, Penola site sold to Midfield Group, 22 December 2014
  • Catherine Miller, Penola site lost to industry consortium, Stock Journal, 6 January 2015
  • Danielle Grindlay, ABC South East, Nutrient Management Project (with Dr Mel Fraser), 20 January 2015
  • Danielle Grindlay, ABC South East, National Marketing Campaign, 27 January 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.


Elder House
Level 2 27 Currie Street
Adelaide South Australia

M: +61 427 084 319
P: +61 8 8425 4531

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Virus free potato stock is an essential element in the production of potatoes in Australia and Solan is playing a significant role in satisfying this requirement for high quality - virus free potato seed via its mini tuber facility in Waikerie, South Australia. The company was formed in 1992 and has continued its growth to now be one of the three main tissue culture laboratories for potato cultivars in Australia.

Developed under the guidance of Ken Morley, the site now encompasses a dedicated potato tissue culture laboratory, mini tuber production nursery and the newly completed cool storage facility.

This continual development and highly maintained standards has provided Solan with Accreditation for Mini Tuber and Plantlet Production over the 200 cultivars in the varietal collection held on site. It is also recognized as a Genetic Resource Centre and Centralized Testing Centre for potato cultivars in Australia. This recognition has allowed Solan to increase the range of services it offers to its clients in Australia as well as internationally. The Australian seed market requires approximately 1.5 million GO tubers per year of which Solan produces in excess of 500,000. The majority are grown under license for PBR Holders.  Solan conducts PBR Trial work, holds cultivars under license for PBR holders for both plantlet and mini tuber production and plays a significant role in holding duplicate potato cultivar stock for other accredited laboratories in Australia.

The newly completed cool storage facility maintains mini tuber stocks under controlled conditions until required by clients to ensure their quality and viability is maintained until planting.
Contact Details:     
Office: 08 85412 802     


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