Autumn 2017

Vale Richard Hamley

It is with great sadness that the Board of Directors of Potatoes South Australia acknowledges the death of former Director Richard Hamley late last month.
Richard was a considerate and dedicated advocate for the agriculture industry across many sectors and was particularly passionate about sustainable agribusiness, having held many key positions including Chairman of the South Australian Murray Resource Information Centre (SAMRIC), Deputy Chair of the Riverland Ramsar (Convention on Wetlands of International Importance) Steering Committee and as a representative on South Australian Murray Irrigators (SAMI). He was also involved as agricultural advisor to AgGrow Energy Resources in creating food, fodder, fibre and renewable energy solutions from mine dewatering in the Pilbara region of WA.
Richard held industry positions in South Australian Citrus Growers (CGSA) and the Australian Mushroom Industry Advisory Committee of Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL).  More recently he was a Director of Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA).
He also held executive positions at Capespan PLC, United Plantations Africa Ltd, the M Group and the Costa Group and was Director and Principal Consultant of Nexus Agriculture Pty Ltd.
His contribution to the industry is evident in the sheer number of organisations that can credit their success to his involvement and the number of people who can call him their friend and mentor.
On behalf of Potatoes South Australia, we offer our deepest condolences to Richard’s wife Jennifer, and his family.
The latest highlights, achievements and issues this autumn are:

Hort Connections 2017 15 - 17 May

Less than 1 week to go!

Held at the newly renovated and enlarged Adelaide Convention Center in the week commencing Monday 15 May, Hort Connections 2017 will be the premier fresh produce industry Conference and Trade Show in the Australasian region in 2017. The Trade Show (200 exhibitors) is SOLD OUT!
Potatoes South Australia is very proud to be a co-partner in an event which will attract more than 2000 attendees. It is where connections will be made, ideas exchanged and trends and innovations revealed.  Delegates at Hort Connections will come from right across the fresh fruit, vegetable and floral value chain across Australia, New Zealand and around the globe.  From seed companies and growers, to wholesalers, retailers and food service operators.  Our industries decision makers and game changers will be at Hort Connections in Adelaide 15 – 17 May 2017  
For more information, please email.
Click here to see the program

Potato Industry Luncheon 15 May

The Association is hosting a Luncheon for the Australian Potato Industry with a very special guest speaker at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Monday 15 May 12:30 - 2:00 pm.  This is a taste of what is to come!!! 

Click here to book your ticket.

Potato Industry Extension Forum

Following the Potato Industry Luncheon,  Arris Pty Ltd will facilitate a whole of industry R&D Extension Forum from 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm. 

For further information please contact Adrian Dahlenburg via email or on 0488 739 300.
These events will lead into the Hort Connections 2017 program commencing with the Welcome Reception and Opening of the Trade Show at 6:30 pm.

TPP Update

It has been determined that the Tomato Potato Psylid (TPP) cannot be eradicated in Western Australia and will require control management.
Department of Food and Agriculture of West Australia Biosecurity and Regulation Executive Director Kevin Chennell said the focus would be on control options on farms, supply chain management and restoring access to interstate markets.

Kevin Chennell, Executive Director Department Biosecurity and Regulation: 

“Over the past three months, the department has carried out extensive trapping and surveillance throughout Perth and our horticulture production regions to check for the pest and take measures to stop it spreading.”
However, the bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum, which causes the Zebra Chip disease in potatoes, has NOT been detected. 
South Australian authorities (Biosecurity SA) recently reported they will further restrict the movement of Western Australian horticultural produce in an effort to prevent the spread of tomato potato psyllid. 

The latest restrictions follow suit with New South Wales and Victorian restrictions to add a broad range of product line restrictions, in addition to those already in place for the tomato potato plant family. 
Biosecurity SA has been actively surveying crops and to date has not recorded any suspect detections of TPP – Good News!  Work is still underway to complete more TPP surveillance in both protected cropping systems (tomatoes, capsicums etc) and broad acre crops (potatoes).
Many of you have initiated your own surveillance programs. On this, just a reminder that sample results can be easily loaded (it takes less than 1 minute to complete) via PIRSA’s weblink tool.
Importantly, this tool allows you to report that no TPP has been detected and thus add to the evidence supporting our Area Freedom claim.  Please can you consider logging onto the site and reporting results from your properties.

World Potato Congress (WPC) Bid for Adelaide, Australia 2021

Potatoes South Australia in collaboration with the Adelaide Convention Bureau (ACB) submitted a Bid to the WPC International Committee in January this year.  It showcased the industry and our capability to host a world class event at the Adelaide Convention Centre in 2021.  It is anticipated that 2000+ delegates could visit South Australia-what a brilliant opportunity to position the Australian industry and our country!
WPC International Committee Members David Thompson President & CEO, John Coady General Manager and Ron Gall Director will be in Adelaide as guests of the ACB during 14-20 May, coinciding with Hort Connections 2017 and the Agriculture Showcase at the ACC.  I sincerely hope that many industry stakeholders will meet with them during the site visit.
The final decision on the host destination for WPC 2021 will be announced in December 2017.
The 10th World Potato Congress will be held in Cusco, Peru in 2018; the first time this triennial event will be held in Latin America.

Rate Hikes for Primary Producers in Playford Council up 200%

This has been proposed as an option to redress the Playford Council’s high commercial rates in a revenue shifting exercise which places an unjust burden on Primary Producers who face rate rises of two or three times their current rate.
Following significant backlash from the Primary Producer community at a Playford Council meeting last month,  this proposal has been deferred to public consultation, which is due to be finalised by 23 May.  
On the Northern Adelaide Plains, horticulture contributes around $300 million in gross value and provides much-needed employment.  This proposal threatens to compromise this economic growth of horticulture, an industry expected to grow and provide 3,700 extra jobs in the north with the SA Government’s proposed $150 million Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme.

It is critical that Primary Producers in the Playford Council region make submissions as part of this public consultation and make their opposition to this plan clear to Council.
If producers and supporters of South Australia’s horticulture industry would like to voice their opposition to this proposal then please make a submission to this inquiry rejecting Option 1. (the option proposing rate increases for Primary Producers) and instead endorse either Option 2 or Option 3.
Options under consideration:

Please find attached a paper outlining each proposal in detail. All documents relating to the submission process and all options on how to have your say, can be accessed on the Playford Council website.

Improving Road Transport for Primary Production

Stage 2 of the successful Improving Road Transport for Primary Production Project is now underway. The first stage of the project had a large number of responses from grain and livestock industries, and PIRSA is keen to hear from the horticulture industry as part of stage 2, in how we can improve our South Australian Road Systems.

A survey is now open for anyone to identify key issues in relation to road transport for the primary production.The survey will seek to address last mile and freight access issues, as well as identify further infrastructure deficiencies such as the need to upgrade junctions, bridges and roads. It will also identify further issues relating to the movement of oversize and over mass agricultural machinery on public roads.

The survey closes  5 pm, Monday 15 May 2017.


New Horticulture Code of Conduct

The new Horticulture Code of Conduct, which was developed after a major independent review and months of negotiation with the Australian Government and the wholesale sector, came into force on the 1st of April.
Much of the Code remains unchanged; however, there are several important changes:
  • Agreements made before 15 December 2006 are no longer exempt from the Code;
  • There are financial penalties for non-compliance with the Code;
  • All parties must act in good faith;
  • You need to keep certain written records for at least six years;
  • You can use a formula or method to determine your pricing; and
  • You no longer have to sign a horticulture produce agreement to accept it. Written acceptance (such as an email) is enough.
The biggest change is that all transactions in the wholesale markets will be covered by the new Code regardless of the existing trading relationship.  All contracts must be compliant with the new Code by April 2018 and all transactions must be made under a Horticulture Produce Agreement (HPA).

The purpose of the Code is to improve transparency and due to its flexibility, to not obstruct normal healthy business relationships.  There is still a requirement to differentiate between merchant and agent transactions but producers and wholesalers now have the option to negotiate a method or formula for calculating a price under merchant transactions prior to the produce being sent to market.

Industry sectors may have some concerns with this hybrid model of trading but the additional information requirements together with the requirement to act in good faith, and the financial penalties built into the Code provide additional protections for producers.  The ACCC is currently developing education materials to educate industry on its rights and obligations under the new Code and to develop an HPA template.

By April 2018 everyone needs to be operating under a Code-compliant HPA which clearly sets out terms of trade such as payment terms and quality specifications.

For more information about the changes to the Code, please see the ACCC’s website.

457 Visa Abolition

On 18 April the Prime Minister declared the Temporary Work (Skilled) 457 visa will be abolished, effective from March 2018, to be replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa.

The 457 visa allowed a skilled worker to come to Australia and work for an approved business where it could not find an Australian citizen or permanent resident to do that skilled work.

This announcement may concern businesses who have utilised, or have considered utilising this visa class to find the skilled workers they need to operate successfully.

There have been instances where the system had been abused by employers using 457 visa holders to fill jobs which could easily be performed by available local workers.

However, many legitimate and appropriate 457 visa holders have been engaged where no skilled local workers were able or willing to fill the role. Skill shortages particularly impact regional businesses and South Australian growth industries.

With the abolition of 457 visas we do not want to see businesses and industries unable to access the skilled workers they need to develop or additional layers of red tape or cost imposed.
In relation to the replacement visa scheme there has been little information provided to date and many businesses are not in a position to properly assess their position. 

Watch this space for updates.


Nuffield Australia Scholarships 2018

Applications are now open for 2018 Nuffield Australia Scholarships with opportunities to undertake research and join a worldwide network of more than 1,500 Nuffield Scholars.
With more than 25 scholarships available in 2018, please encourage family members, friends and industry contacts to apply. 

For more information, including scholarships on offer, eligibility and testimonials from existing scholars, click here.
Applications close on Friday, 16th June  


The 20th European Association for Potato Research (EAPR) Triennial Conference

This will be held in Versailles, France 9-14 July 2017 aims to look ahead by providing sustainable solutions and determining the top priority topics. The latest innovative knowledge and research will be highlighted eg integration of genomic advances, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), improvement of Decision Support Systems and Precision Agriculture for more cost effective and  sustainable practices, and safer and healthier products for both consumers and the environment.

Whether you are involved in fundamental or applied research, in extension or technical activities or from private companies covering the whole potato value chain, your contribution will be much appreciated. To optimize communication, participants will enjoy an ideal venue; the Congress Centre in Versailles, providing up-to-date facilities for presentations, and interpersonal exchanges and networking. In addition, the professional excursions will enable the participants to discover the different aspects of the French potato sector in its original environment.

For more information, click here

Agri-Masterclass 2 - Family Business: The Benefits and Challenges


Piper Alderman is delighted to once again be partnering with Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) to deliver an Agri-Masterclass series as part of PIRSA's Women Influencing Agribusiness and Regions Strategy (WIARS).

You are invited to the second seminar in the 2017 Agri-Masterclass series - 'Family Business: The Benefits and Challenges'.

Family businesses are a key contributor to the Australian agribusiness sector. Some of these are conducted in a boardroom environment, whilst others are managed around a kitchen table. Irrespective of their size and complexity, many family businesses will experience common challenges.

Join us for an interactive panel discussion and hear from influential family businesses in the agribusiness sector. Our panel will share their personal and professional experiences and offer some practical strategies for tackling the short term and long term challenges associated with family business.

Our panel will discuss topics including:
  • The benefits and challenges of family business
  • Governance strategies and mechanisms
  • Managing and resolving conflict
  • Succession for your family business – management, ownership and leadership
  • The nextgen's role in the family business
Lucy Willson, General Manager / Marketing, Bremerton Wines
Sally Paech, Marketing Director, Beerenberg Farm
Simon Haigh, Joint Managing Director, Haigh's Chocolates
Kathy Ruggiero,  Managing Director, Swanport Harvest

Facilitated by Bianca Battistella, Senior Associate, Corporate and Agribusiness, Piper Alderman

Event details and registration
Date: Wednesday 24 May
Time: 5.30pm for 5.45pm start until 7.30pm
Location: Level 16, 70 Franklin Street, Adelaide Save the date for future sessions
Wednesday 9 August 2017 - Innovation in Export
Wednesday 25 October 2017 - SA Food and Wine Showcase
If you have any queries or require further information, please contact Adele Tatarelli by email at


Click here to view List of Grants available. 


Industry Newsflash
  • Succession Planning Workshops 14, 15 March 2017, 15 February 2017
  • Chief Inspector Biosecurity Alert, 14 February 2017
  • Update on TPP incursion in WA, 27 February 2017
  • Invitation to Industry Luncheon, ACC 15 May 2017 (to be issued weekly)  
  • Brittany Evins ABC Riverland, “SA’s 2016 Rural Women’s Award winner” 8 February 2017
  • Cassandra Hough ABC Country Hour, “SA’s 2016 Rural Women’s Award winner” 13 February 2017
  • Karen Hunt, ABC Rural Mt Gambier, “ TPP and WA’s incursion” 16 February 2017
  • Isabel Dayman, ABC Radio Riverland, “ Succession Planning workshops”, 6 March 2017
  • Isabel Dayman, ABC TV Riverland, Succession Planning Workshop at Waikerie”, 15 March 2017
  • ‘Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP) detected in Western Australia’, Smart Farmer/Fairfax Media March issue
  • Value-adding curbs waste’, Smart Farmer/Fairfax Media April issue  

Not a member of Potatoes South Australia yet?

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.  Click here for more information.

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.


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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