July/August 2014

Dear primary producers, processors and all stakeholders in the Potato Industry in Australia and internationally. 
There are some important events in the calendar.  Of course, we have just co-hosted our inaugural Conference with ViCSPA at Mt Gambier, South Australia from 10-12 August.  A report on its success is below.
Save the Dates! Save the Dates! Save the Dates!

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

This will be held on Friday 31 October 2014 4-5pm in the Main Board Room, Level 6, Elder House, 27 Currie Street, Adelaide, South Australia. Notices will be distributed by email at the end of September 2014.  Nominations for Board positions will be requested at that time.  

Annual Industry Dinner and Auction

This year’s Dinner and New Season Baby Potato Auction will be held on Friday 31 October at the National Wine Centre of Australia, Botanic Road, Adelaide.  Last year the Auction was an enormous success, with $8,500 paid by Thomas Foods International Fresh Produce for a 15 kg box. This year, Tony Wetherall, Elders top livestock auctioneer will no doubt drive the price way beyond this with all proceeds donated to the Little Heroes Foundation, our charity of choice.  

Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society (RA&HS) Adelaide Show 5-14 September 2014

The RA&HS is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year and is at the forefront of South Australia’s development.  
Potatoes South Australia is a sponsor of Next Generation SA, an organisation targeting rural youth and young people, aged between 16 and 40 years of age, living in South Australia with an interest in country shows, their community and rural life.
From 5-7 September at the Royal Adelaide Show, the Association will team up with SARDI to provide an interactive display featuring the PreDicta Pt DNA based soil testing service which is a new diagnostic tool used  to identify if certain soil-borne pathogens pose a significant risk to potato crops prior to planting. Read More...

2014 Potato Industry Conference

The Potato Industry Conference, themed, “Think Local, Think Global, Think Potatoes” was opened by Hon Tony Pasin, Federal Member for Barker. 

It was very successful with 60% of delegates being primary producers - a fabulous outcome!

What this means is that the program, focusing on the world-class Australian potato industry, including key production and environmental issues, and our capability to export premium product, was both relevant and practical.  There were clear ‘take-home’ messages.

The informality of the two-day event at The Barn, a perfect venue, enabled the delegates to network but also to interact with the speakers and each other in panel discussions.  It provided a forum for industry debate and future direction which was a key objective of the Conference. Read More...

The Debate on Agricultural/Horticultural Levies

Liberal Democratic Party Senator, David Leyonhjelm, has urged the Federal Government to conduct a 'serious review' of all agricultural research and development (R&D) and marketing levies.

This is of significant concern to the horticulture industry as levy establishment or changes are voted on and approved by producers.  Levies are an essential component of the funding source for R&D and marketing for the vast bulk of Australian horticulture commodities.  Read More...

Examination of the Import Risk Analysis (IRA) Process

On behalf of the Association I attended a group discussion on the examination of the Import Risk Analysis (IRA) process on Thursday 21 August 2014. In attendance were Darryl Barbour and Kally Gross, Department of Agriculture.
Discussions included Australia’s biosecurity policies, roles and responsibilities at state and national levels, Appropriate Levels of Protection, the Risk Estimation Matrix, Area Freedom, regional and domestic quarantine procedures, market access and the role of the Eminent Scientists Group.
Potatoes South Australia will prepare a submission on behalf of the Industry by 10 September 2014.
Industry stakeholders can contact the Association regarding input or respond individually as follows:
  • Email a submission with an attached cover sheet to Biosecurity, or
  • Provide a submission (maximum 500 words) and completing the online form.

Introduction to the new Apal Agricultural Laboratory

Apal Laboratory has been under the new management of Dr Ryan Walker since January 2014. It is now ready to launch its new brand, website and submission process. Below is an introduction to the new company, Apal Agricultural Laboratory.

Apal Agricultural Laboratory is an innovative 100% South Australian-owned company providing soil, plant and water analytical services. As an independent, accredited laboratory with a commitment to accuracy and quality of data. It is focused on prompt delivery of results to the industry through a variety of innovative reporting formats.  Read More...

The French Connection

Justine Bas has just completed an 8 week assignment with Zerella Fresh.   Justine is a 4th year agronomy engineering student from France.  Justine initially contacted Potatoes South Australia to understand what training opportunities may exist in Australia.   This enquiry was seen as further evidence that Potatoes South Australia is increasingly being recognised both domestically and globally as a key peak industry body for the potato industry.   During her time with Zerella, Justine has focused on customer friendly solutions to extend the shelf life of potatoes and carrots.  “I have really enjoyed the experience at Zerella and the opportunity to compare the different washing and storage practices of Australia and France”, said Justine.  

World Potato Congress Beijing, China 28-30 July, 2015

Following the visit by Champak Mehta, CEO Potatoes South Australia, we are working on the possibility of a trans-Tasman ‘ANZAC’ potato industry delegation to attend the Congress in Beijing. Information will be provided as this develops.

Mallee and Lower Limestone Coast Water Allocation Plans

The Association is continuing to provide support to irrigators in these two regions which produce more than 80% of South Australia’s potatoes.  Independently facilitated meetings were conducted with the stakeholders, the independent reviewer (Australian Groundwater Technologies Pty Ltd) and Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) and Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) executives and policy makers in mid-May.
On behalf of the stakeholders, the Association has liaised with the relevant State Ministers and Members of Parliament concerning the drastic reductions and inequitable allocations which will result in decreased production.
The Association continues to liaise with the Government and the Minister for Water and the River Murray, Hon Ian Hunter MLC.
A response from Government concerning questions in the Issues Papers and questions which arose from the facilitated meetings is currently being undertaken.

Strategic Plan 2014’17

This Plan, currently being developed, will be released at the 2014 Industry Dinner/Auction on 31 October 2014.

The flexible plan will be owned and endorsed by industry and will guide the Association in fulfilling its objectives to provide the best, most relevant and cost-efficient services to all stakeholders.

The Nutrition Society of Australia-SA Group

At a ‘fine dining foodie experience’ at “The Apothecary 1878”, Adelaide, on 28 August, I was guest speaker with Dr Rebecca Forder, The University of Adelaide.  Our task was to enlighten the 50 guests on the nutritional benefits and sustainability of Potatoes and Yellowtail Kingfish at a ‘fish and chip’ themed night.
Three different varieties of potatoes were show-cased and were brilliantly prepared by Chef, Natalie Homan. The potatoes were very kindly provided by the industry for this event.
The guests went home with a new appreciation of this versatile, nutritious, sophisticated vegetable.  The recipes, courtesy of Natalie, will be available on our website.  
Potatoes South Australia anticipates a strong alliance with the Nutrition Society of Australia in terms of possible projects to further educate the consumer on the nutritional benefits of potatoes. 
At the Purdue Roundtable discussion held in the US in 2013, a paper “White Vegetables: A Forgotten Source of Nutrients”by C Weaver and ET Marr was presented.

PCN Management

The Association continues to seek information for the industry concerning PCN management through regular liaison with Biosecurity SA.
The main findings are:
  • The Plant Health Committee (PHC) has approved that Western Australia and Tasmania are exempt from testing seed as they have Area Freedom status.
  • The South Australian Industry and Biosecurity SA have submitted a Pest Risk Analysis to the Western Australian authorities. This is a case for official Area Freedom status by the Office of the Plant Protection Officer (DOA) and for the abolition of mandatory PCN-testing of washed potatoes entering the Western Australian market.
The outcome has not been determined but I will keep you updated on progress.
Additionally, we are working with Biosecurity SA other horticultural sectors to develop a strategy to better enable continued access to the domestic market and ongoing access to exports while supporting our ‘clean, green, premium’ image.

Produce Markets Australia (PMA)

Potatoes South Australia has become a member of PMA following representation at two PMA Aust-NZ ‘Fresh Connections’ Conferences (Sydney and Auckland).
The Produce Marketing Association is a trade organisation representing companies from every segment of the global fresh produce and floral supply chain. PMA Australia-New Zealand Limited (PMA A-NZ) is the first stand-alone global affiliate of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA Global)

By working across the whole supply chain, PMA A-NZ strives to assist businesses to increase their sales of fresh and safe produce to regional and global consumers and develop their internal business capabilities through motivated and skilled employees.
The Association will use the connections and networks provided to expand business opportunities and increase consumption.


The Association has several projects ‘in the pipeline’.
  • Nutrient Management for the Australian Potato Industry
  • Department of Agriculture Export Strategy for Australian Potatoes
  • South Australian River Murray Sustainability (SARMS) Project Proposal
To find out more Click here...


The Association has been involved in the following:

International Articles
  • Potatoes NZ August issue; “Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) Review-What this means for the Australian Potato Industry”
  • “Trans-Tasman collaboration has seen mixed results in past”, FreshPlaza, 27 June 2014
  • “Trans-Tasman Wheeling and Dealing at PMA Conference” , FreshPlaza, 1 July 2014
  • ”Trade ban hasn’t soured potato relationship”, FreshPlaza, 3 July 2014
  • “Justin at top of crop”, The River News, 6 August 2014·
  • “Malcolm persists with his potatoes”, The River News, 6 August 2014
  • “Aussie potatoes ditched by consumers, replaced by 'trendier' carbohydrates”,Danielle Grindlay, ABC Rural, 8  August 2014
  • “WA potato growers boost consumption by 2000 tonnes with $1.5 million marketing campaign”,Kate Dowler, The Weekly Times, 11 August 2014·
  • “Potatoes South Australia is calling for a national marketing campaign to improve the reputation of the potato”, PotatoPro,12 August 2014·
  • “Australian potato growers urged to rethink export opportunities”, Kate Dowler, The Weekly Times, 14 August 2014·
  • “Leader unearthed”, Alex McGregor, Border Watch, 15 August 2014·
  • “Award Winner wants more insight into potato farming, Smart Farmer, August 2014·
  • “Justin accepts award”, Ryneisha Bollard, The River News, 20 August 2014·
  • "Bounty for SA –Potatoes”, Nigel Austin, The Sunday Mail 24 August 2014
  • Clint Jasper, ABC Rural Riverland and Mallee, PMA Aust-NZ Conference 30 June 2014
  • Jayme Koch, Murray Pioneer, Loxton News, River News, Gawler Bunyip, Riverland production and exports, 28 July 2014.
  • Sarah Hall, Fairfax Radio Network 2UE, Sydney, 12 August 2014, National Marketing Campaign (Conference)


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

Potatoes South Australia are now on here to Like...

Save the Dates!

5-14 September 2014

Friday 31 October 2014 4-5pm
Main Board Room
Level 6, Elder House
27 Currie Street, Adelaide

Friday 31 October 2014
National Wine Centre of Australia
Botanic Road, Adelaide

Words from the Little Heroes Foundation

The Little Heroes Foundation has assisted in the diagnosis, treatment and ongoing support of seriously ill children for many years, and now we are about to embark on our biggest project yet! 
Discussions are currently underway with the Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH) to develop the specific details and scope of the project and we are very excited about its potential to really make a difference to the lives of children who are in need of medical assistance.
All monies raised from the Potatoes South Australia Auction will go towards this project, and we will be able to reveal details of it at the Dinner on 31 October.
We are looking forward to meeting with you and having a fun night.  We so appreciate your support of the Little Heroes Foundation.
Kind Regards
The Little Heroes Team

The Band
This year we will also have a Band at the Dinner. “Platinum +” are a popular local band playing songs that have gone “platinum” over the years. They have developed a loyal following playing many of the hotels and clubs throughout South Australia.
They have a lot of fun on stage and get involved with the audience. You will be guaranteed to hear one of your favourite hits! 
Lead vocalist Andy Upton has performed all around Australia and overseas and had a number one hit with “Stop in the Name of Love” in the mid-seventies. His vocals today are better than ever.
Another member of the band is Radio Identity Barry Ion.  Barry had a very successful breakfast radio Show called the’”Bazz and Pilko Show” spanning over 21 years.




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