Winter 2015

Dear primary producers, processors and all stakeholders in the Potato Industry in South Australia, Australia and internationally. 
Here are some key activities and information.

Potatoes South Australia Rabobank Scholarship

The 2015 Potatoes South Australia Rabobank Scholarship was awarded to Gavin Hibberd, Farm Manager Zerella Fresh.
Gavin has just completed the Rabobank Farm Managers Course at Grange Cleveland Winery in Victoria which was conducted from 15-19 June.  
The Farm Managers Program is modelled on the highly-respected Rabobank Executive Development Program, a long-standing business development course for leading New Zealand and Australian farmers. 2015 marks the 10th year of Rabobank’s Farm Managers Program, with more than 300 young farmers from across Australia and New Zealand graduating from the program since its inception in 2006.

Gavin was raised on a family-owned and operated dry fruit farming business near Mildura in the Sunraysia region. With a longstanding family background in farming and cropping, he followed in his family’s footsteps and began working in local vineyards and table grape farms. This eventually led him to take on a farm management role with Zerella Fresh in South Australia, to become a part of one of the largest growers in the country of potatoes, carrots and onions, where Mr Hibberd has worked for almost six years.
Rabobank and Potatoes South Australia have again jointly-sponsored this award as both organisations see it as an integral way of acknowledging and supporting the future leaders of the industry.
Congratulations Gavin Hibberd! A fantastic effort!

Fair Work Commission: Review of the Modern Awards

The Association is continuing to work with the industry and the wider horticulture sector to seek changes to terminology in the Federal Modern Awards (including the Horticulture and Storage Services Award).  This concerns words we use regularly, particularly “farmgate” and what this really means to the primary producer and in the context of the value chain.
Business SA, the Australian Industry Group (AiG) and the National Farmers Federation (NFF) are coordinating submissions with industry. 
The Association is a member of Business SA and is very grateful of the services being provided by its Policy Team.

PMA Aust+NZ Fresh Connections Melbourne 12-14 May 2015

The three day PMA Fresh Connections Australia +NZ Conference at the Melbourne Convention Centre was once again a valuable learning and networking event with attendance figures exceeding 1200 delegates.  Read More...

Rural Connect - A Voice and Resource for Rural South Australia

All South Australian Primary Producers are welcome to join Rural Connect. Primary Producers SA has produced Rural Connect to inform and give a voice to rural South Australia. There is no cost - but a lot of benefits.  This is a partnership with PIRSA’s Biosecurity SA.  Read More...

Northern Adelaide Plains (NAP) Horticulture Working Group

Following a successful independently facilitated Northern Adelaide Plains Horticulture Workshop held in May, a working group has been formed comprising the following:
  • Horticulture Coalition of SA
  • Primary Industries and Regions SA
  • Potatoes South Australia
  • Hortex Alliance
  • Adelaide Produce Markets Limited
  • Ausveg SA
  • Vietnamese farming community
The working group met for the first time this month and developed a clear framework for how they will work together in a collaborative manner.  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.

Click here to download the HIA Membership Application form.

Australia's 'Five Strong Pillar Economy': Agriculture

In his 2013 election campaign, Prime Minister Tony Abbott promised his Government would build a world-class 'five pillar economy', encompassing manufacturing, agriculture, services, education and mining.  Just how is the agricultural sector faring two years down the track?  Click here to find out.

Australia Reviews Biosecurity System

The Biosecurity Bill 2014, focusing on modernising regulations and administrative procedures, together with supporting legislation was passed by the Parliament on 14 May 2015, paving the way for the biggest reforms to the country’s biosecurity system since the Quarantine Act of 1908

The new legislation will come into effect 12 months after receiving royal assent from the Governor General. The 12 month delay is to allow for clients, staff and stakeholders to understand their rights and responsibilities under the new biosecurity legislation and to enable a smooth transition. Some parts of the legislation have a further delayed commencement date and transitional arrangements.

The department is currently working with stakeholders, state and territory governments and clients to implement practices and procedures under the new Act. Read More...

Inquiry into Seasonal Worker Programme

Individuals or organisations who have participated in the Seasonal Worker Programme are encouraged to share their experiences in a new inquiry into the employment scheme. Established in 2012, the program now provides more than 3000 seasonal workers to horticulture sector employers. 

Through this new inquiry, the Federal Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Migration will examine the Seasonal Worker Programme and its scope for expansion.
The Committee will focus on:
  • How new sectors can benefit from the program;
  • How the program affects Australian jobs;
  • Increasing access for overseas women and youth workers;
  • How the program supports development in the Pacific; and
  • Issues attracting seasonal workers, including the granting of visas.
The Program benefits Australia’s horticulture industry, increasing productivity in areas of labour shortages. It also provides potential benefits to the participants of the program through skills development, knowledge transfer and poverty alleviation.  The inquiry will investigate whether the program should be expanded to include other countries and sectors.

Submission will be accepted until Friday 10 July 2015. For further details about the inquiry, including full terms of reference and how to make a submission visit the Committee's Website.

World Potato Congress (WPC) - 28 to 30 July 2015, China

The WPC website continues to reveal details of the speakers and conference programme.  The list of keynote speakers is now out.
Topics include:
  • Sustainable Development of Potato Industry in China
  • Global Food and Agricultural Issues
  • Development of Chinese Agriculture & Food Security
  • The Role of the Potato for Global Food Security
  • World Potato Markets: Trends, Investments, Intercontinental Trade and its implications for the future

Government of South Australia Trade Missions

PIRSA is currently engaging with companies to confirm their level of interest to participate in the South East Asia Trade Mission being undertaken by the State Government from 16-22 August 2015.  PIRSA will work closely with Austrade to put together a detailed itinerary for companies that travel on the Mission.  Read More...


The Association has several projects ‘in the pipeline’.
  • Nutrient Management for the Australian Potato Industry
  • South East Asian Export Strategy Development and Implementation
  To find out more Click here... 


Media Releases
  • “Young Adelaide Plains Potato Farmer receives Industry accolade”, Rabobank, 27 May 2015
  • "Potatoes South Australia names young industry leader for 2015”, 29 May 2015
  • “Are there too many voices out there?”, The Grower/Smart Farmer May issue
  • “There’s more to the humble spud that its colour”, Marc Llewellyn, Guardian Australia
  • “PMA A-NZ Launches ‘Pick Right Feel Bright!’”
  • “Pursuing Asia for spud exports”, FreshPlaza, 16 June 2015
  • “South Australia plans export of high quality crisping and seed potatoes to Thailand and Malaysia”, Potatopro, 19 June 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 4 27 Currie Street
Adelaide South Australia

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

This Issue's Member Profile

Dobmac is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading agricultural machinery companies in its field; specialising in the design, manufacture, supply and service of a range of agricultural planting, harvesting, storage, handling and packing equipment for the potato and vegetable industries.
Dobmac, established in 1983, directly employs many Tasmanians at its Ulverstone, Tasmania site, and has two branches in New Zealand.  Philip Dobson, the founder of the business, is well known and respected in the industry in which it operates.

Dobmac 6 Row Trailing Potato Planter

The Ulverstone location comprises a manufacturing and service workshop, spare parts, wholesale/ retail showroom and store and administration offices.  The organisation direct-markets most of its product lines and prides itself on professional attention to client needs.  The team of service technicians is specifically trained to service the extensive range of products, and is available for client service both interstate and internationally.
The Organisation's vision is : 
"To be an innovative, market leader in the design, manufacture, supply and maintenance of specialist agricultural machinery in a changing, global market".
This inspires Dobmac to seek and develop niche markets in local, national and international rural economies.  It has established a reputation for quality, reliability and dependability and aims to have the Dobmac brand identified as an industry standard.

Dobmac 2 Row Potato Planter

Dobmac's primary customer source, from within the agricultural industries of Australia and New Zealand, is diverse and encompasses hobby farmers through to major crop producers, processing industries and Government agencies. Dobmac is an Export Award winner and is developing new markets in many countries.
Together with its own range of specialised products, Dobmac partners with industry leading companies from around the globe, including ERC Machinery, Tong Engineering, Standen Pearson, Lockwood, Milestone, Harriston - Mayo, Top Air and Verbruggen Palletizing Solutions,  to supply its customers with state of the art machinery designed to suit their specific requirements.





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