Spring 2014

Dear primary producers, processors and all stakeholders in the Potato Industry in South Australia, Australia and internationally.  Welcome to this issue of our Newsletter!

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

In the afternoon of Friday 31 October 2014 the 3rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Potatoes South Australia Incorporated was convened in the Main Boardroom of Elders.
Independent Chair, Brian Cunningham, is delighted to announce that four new Directors were appointed.
Our Board now has 10 Directors; both industry and independent.  This reflects the revised Constitution... 
The Directors are:
  • Gary O’Neill, Manager Farms, Mitolo Group (Deputy Chair)
  • James Wandel, KICE Pty Ltd, Certified Seed Producer
  • Andrew Widdison, South East Potato Growers Association
  • Paul White, General Manager, Zerella Fresh
  • Ross Trimboli, GTS Farms Pty Ltd
  • Mark Geraghty, General Manager EPAC (Independent)
  • Mr Matt Hanson, Chief Operating Officer, MGroup
  • Mr Steve Marafiote, Chief Executive Officer, South Australian Potato Company
  • Mr Jamie Roberts, General Manager, Thomas Foods International Fresh Produce
  • Mr Richard Haynes, Horticulture Account Manager, Elders (Independent)
The breadth of experience, qualifications and individual skill sets of the Directors will provide appropriate strategic direction for the Association as it further develops its services, representation and influence. 

Strategic Plan 2014'17

This Plan, providing the strategic direction for the Association for the next three years was accepted at the Ordinary General Meeting of the Board on 31 October 2014.  It outlines a strategic pathway for the next three years enabling structured guidance for the Association both in the achievement of its objectives and in the mitigation of risks. Read More...

Update on Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited

Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) has been working closely with Government over the last four months to implement much of the recent report “Better Value for Growers – a Future for HAL” prepared by ACIL Allen Consulting.

As a consequence of the recommendations in this report a new company, Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd (HIA Ltd), was created with the specific purpose of assuming the role of industry services/export control body at the expiry of HAL’s statutory funding agreement (SFA) on 4 November 2014. This company will have a new constitution and will transition to grower levy payers as registered voting members in November 2015. Read More...

Annual Industry Dinner and Auction 2014

This year’s Dinner and New Season Baby Potato Auction was held last Friday, 31 October at the National Wine Centre of Australia. It was a fabulous night in a perfect venue; a true reflection of how we are achieving a key objective of our 2013’14 Strategic Plan;

The organisation establishes a unified cohesive industry structure with a strong membership base which represents the ‘whole of industry’ value chain”
The auction of new season baby potatoes resulted in a final bid of a very impressive $9,000. This surpassed last year’s bid of $8,500 by Jamie Roberts, General Manager, Thomas Foods International Fresh Produce.  Read More...

Highest bidder Paul Capobianco, Tony and Mark's with Chris McDermott, Chair Little Heroes Foundation

More on the 2014 Potato Industry Conference

Please click here to read an article prepared for the latest issue of the New Zealand Grower.

World Potato Congress Beijing, China 28-30 July 2015

World Potato Congress Inc. General Manager, John Coady, announced the launching of registration for the Beijing 2015 World Potato Congress.
Planning and preparation have been underway for over a year. The 9th World Potato Congress will be held at Yanqing, Beijing, China, in July 2015.
Over the coming weeks and months details will be released highlighting issues and profiling speakers and presenters.
The county of Yanqing (70 km northwest of Beijing) is a beautiful region of China with a continental monsoonal climate, a variety of terrains and extensive biodiversity. The Badaling Great Wall is a huge tourism attraction and will be the site of the closing banquet and awards ceremony.
The Congress, will take place at the newly constructed Beijing Badaling International Conference and Exhibition Centre and will be held concurrently with the China Potato Expo and the China Potato Congress. These events annually attract 200 international and domestic exhibitors and over 4000 professional visitors.

For registration details click here

Syngenta is running a competition to attend the World Potato Congress next year in China.  The company will be supporting four potato producers and their agronomist / advisors to attend, with expenses paid as well as linking up with the global Syngenta potato team in China.
The competition is open is ALL potato producers across Australia and all you have to do is simply purchase a Syngenta potato product before March 2015 and enter your details on the website.  You could be on your way to China! 

This will be a great opportunity to meet up with the world’s leading researchers and industry representatives.

University of Adelaide / PIRSA / Industry Collaboration

Potatoes South Australia Inc has established a project in collaboration with PIRSA to develop a Gross Margins mobile application for the South Australian Potato Industry. The focus at this stage will be on the seed sector but its application will extend to both the fresh and processing sectors.
Through an affiliation with the University of Adelaide, we have been fortunate to have final year student, Joshua Thunig as a project intern. He is completing a Bachelor of Economics, Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Adelaide.  Joshua is undertaking the work under an agreement with Potatoes South Australia, PIRSA and the University of Adelaide. He will be surveying the seed potato industry as the ‘test case’ for the potential to develop the Gross Margins application. The seed sector was selected because of its smaller number of producers, allowing Joshua the ability to obtain information quickly while he works at PIRSA two days a week until December 2014.
The methodology will include emailing a survey to seed producers with a follow-up telephone conversation.  All individual producer information will be kept strictly confidential.  The individual results will be collated to produce average ranges. The project will be completed by the middle of December 2014.  
Joshua will deliver a presentation on the Final Report to the Potatoes South Australia Board with guests from the University of Adelaide and PIRSA in February 2015.

Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper

The Australian Government has released the Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper

Federal Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, launched the paper in Canberra last month and the nine key policy principles in the paper are broadly supported by Potatoes South Australia.  Read More...

Potato Week, Western Australia 13-19 October

At the invitation of Paul Graham, Marketing Manager, and Peter Evans CEO, Potato Marketing Corporation (PMC) of Western Australia, I attended Potato Week to see first-hand the successful 'serve up some goodness' marketing campaign. This coincides with the British Potato Council’s Potato Week.  I met with industry stakeholders and witnessed the culmination of ‘Potato Week’ activities including live radio broadcasts and in-store point of sale. I also met with the Rare Creative team which has developed the campaign including television and outdoor advertising sites. 
Meetings were also held with the PMC Board and Jim Turley, EO Potato Growers Association (PGA).

PIRSA's SA Plant Biosecurity Technical Reference Panel

Potatoes South Australia has accepted a position on a new Technical Reference Panel to provide advice to Biosecurity SA on plant biosecurity matters.

Department of Agriculture IRA Discussion/Submission

Following attendance at a Federal Government Department of Agriculture group discussion about the IRA process in August, Potatoes South Australia prepared a submission to "The Examination of the Import Risk Analysis (IRA) process"
The examination of the IRA process will specifically focus on:
  • transparency and consultation during the IRA process;
  • the use of external scientific and economic expertise; and
  • consideration of regional differences in animal or plant health status during the IRA process.
The outcomes of this examination will also be considered in the development of processes for conducting IRAs under the Biosecurity Bill 2014, replacing the Quarantine Act 1908. The Industry seeks a balance between the maintenance of pest and disease-free status, the gaining of new market access and productive trade relationships. 
The industry was also represented at a Department of Agriculture Biosecurity Legislation Update Forum in Canberra in late October.  It covered the Biosecurity Bill and the import risk analysis examination process.


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
  • ”$600,000/tonne for new season’s baby potatoes”, 3 November 2014
  • “South Australian potato industry chips away at South East Asian markets”, Martin Hamilton-Smith MP, 31 October 2014
  • Weekly Times Now, "WA Potato Marketing Campaign pays dividends", 13 October 2014
  • FreshPlaza, “ $600,000/tonne for New Season’s Baby Potatoes” 4 November 2014
  • FreshPlaza, “S Australia potato industry chipping away at SE Asian markets”, 4 November 2014
  • Fruitnet Daily News, ”Aussie potatoes set sights on SE Asia”, 4 November 2014
  • Kate Dowler, The Weekly Times, 14 August, 2014 (Conference outcomes)
  • Ryneisha Bollard, River News, 15 August 2014 (Conference outcomes)
  • Nigel Austin, The Advertiser, 21 August 2014 (General)
  • Narelle Graham, ABCRiverland,1 September 2014 (Potato Marketing)
  • Elise Fantin, ABC Rural, Mt Gambier, 14 October 2014 (Visit to WA)
  • Sallese Gibson, ABC Riverland, 31 October 2014 (SE Asian Export Grant)


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...

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The following is feedback from just one of many happy course participants:
“We find the online option is so convenient for our employees. They don’t have to wait for a course to be held near us, and they can do the course when work is quiet, or out of hours. They actually learn more online than they do at a face-to-face course. When my own accreditation expires next year I’ll definitely do my reaccreditation online!”
Smith & Georg is offering a 10% discount on the standard cost of the course for members of Potatoes South Australia. Contact Smith & Georg for the enrolment code which offers access to the discount.
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