Winter 2017

The latest highlights, achievements and issues this Winter include:

New Independent Chair for Potatoes South Australia

The Board is delighted to announce the appointment of new Independent Chair, Dr Andrew MacDonald.  He replaces Mr Brian Cunningham who has been in the role since 2013.
Currently, Andrew is Chairman and Non-executive Director of ASX-listed Contango Income Generator (ASX:CIE) and Managing Director of Mieza Consulting, a global management consulting business. He has over 30 years’ experience in financial and professional services. He is widely regarded as an expert in banking and finance with a particular emphasis on corporate banking, wealth management, corporate governance, risk management and the customer experience.
Andrew has held a number of senior roles in business development and consulting. He was Head of Sales Development – Australia for the National Australia Bank (NAB). Prior to joining NAB, Andrew was a Director of Business Development at Ernst & Young (E & Y) where he was responsible for portfolio sales including corporate finance, taxation, audit, consulting and entrepreneurial services.
Andrew holds a PhD in Macroeconomics/International Political Economy from the University of Melbourne, and a Bachelor of Arts, Honours from Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia. He also holds positions as an adjunct Professor at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad and Eruditus Executive Education (INSEAD & Wharton) in Mumbai and as an MBA Workshop Leader at Kaplan Business School where he teaches customised executive education programs in leadership, customer centricity and client relationship management.
We look forward to Andrew’s leadership, particularly as the Association transitions into a more commercially-oriented representative body.

Click here for Media Release

New Silver Corporate Partner - A-GAS Rural

Potatoes South Australia is delighted to welcome new Silver Corporate Partner, A-GAS Rural!

A-GAS Rural has been operating for over 20 years.  Since that time A-GAS Rural has been actively developing new products for the soil fumigation market to control soil pests and diseases for the horticultural sectors. 

Over the last three years, A-GAS Rural, HortEx and Michael Rettke from SARDI have been collaborating on trials of new soil fumigation products in conjunction with the potato soil DNA test.  As a result of this work the DNA testing procedures have been improved for vegetable crops and new fumigants have been developed that prescriptively target pests and diseases.  This work culminated in A-GAS Rural being awarded National Researcher of the Year at the recent Hort Connections Conference in Adelaide.

A-GAS Rural has partnered with Potatoes South Australia to further develop this work so that the potato producers of South Australia and Australia can benefit.  Both organisations are jointly organising a tour of the US and Canadian potato processing regions in September of this year.    

Details of the tour can be found here.

A-GAS Rural
24 Chamberlain Street
Wingfield SA
+61 8 8347 3838
Matthew Stein
General Manager
+61 408 128 366

Bryan Robertson
Technical Sales Manager
+61 400 808 284

Update from Silver Partner - Agricrop

The partnership arrangement between Potatoes South Australia, Agricrop and Elders has continued into 2017 with ongoing trials in potatoes of IrriGate® soil surfactant and Photon 500SG®.

Agricrop and its trial partners have reviewed the program to make it more acceptable to producers than it was in 2016. Agricrop has been working with producers to improve water use efficiency with IrriGate® soil surfactant and stress management with Photon 500SG®.

Photon 500SG® has been used to mitigate chill and heat stress in a myriad of irrigated crops over the past 7 years. Results in both tomato and potato crops have been consistently good with outcomes of improved fruit/tuber size and overall yield matching expectations.

Read more here

Biosecurity Update

TPP and CLso

This update has been provided by Biosecurity SA on the national response to the detection of Tomato potato psyllid (TPP) in Western Australia, and to provide information on what activities are being undertaken in South Australia to manage the risk of TPP to our industries.

Click here to read more

Click here for information regarding a TPP Workshop in Virginia on 18 July.

Potatoes South Australia is working with One Biosecurity to build a best practice model for Government/Industry engagement preparedness following detection of a priority plant pest in Australia.

Rate Hikes up to 200% for Primary Producers in Playford Council – AXED!

In May, the City of Playford released a Rates Policy Review, which proposed $636,000 a year in residential rates relief, meaning slightly cheaper bills for two-thirds of homeowners.  Commercial property owners would also collectively pay $2.5 million less in rates each year.  But rather than reduce spending to deliver the cuts, the Council recommended that rate payers engaged in primary production, (contributing in excess of $200 million in gross value; the 3rd largest contributor in 2015’16), be hit with a considerable rate hike as an option to redress its high commercial rates in a revenue shifting exercise.  There would also be rate increases on vacant land.

On the Northern Adelaide Plains, horticulture contributes around $300 million in gross value and provides much-needed employment.  This proposal threatened 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.
Potatoes South Australia worked with a specialist consultant and legal firm to provide a submission to the City of Playford Council. On Tuesday 23rd May, a Playford Council consultation meeting was held at Elizabeth.  More than 500 primary producers protested against the potential rate rises.
The preferred option put forward by primary producers was Option 3-no change for the present, with the City of Playford going back to the drawing board and re-assessing, from a strategic perspective, how it will rate its community equitably. 
At the meeting on 13 June, the Council determined that Option 3 would be put into place - a great outcome!
Potatoes South Australia, Hortex Alliance and Ausveg SA collaborated in media releases concerning the announcement and outcomes.

MACS-G20 Workshop “Food Losses and Waste Reduction”

Last month, I was fortunate to attend the Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS)-G20 FLW Workshop/Conference in Berlin.  Formal MACS Members are the ministries or governmental bodies responsible for agricultural research in the respective G20 states as well as leading research institutions which strategically advise these decision makers. 

Convened by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Thünen Institute, 41 participants from 17 countries (among them 13 G20-states) including from FAO, OECD and the EU Commission met for three days to discuss the structure of a MACS initiative on FLW reduction and appropriate measures/action which promise highest possible impact, avoid doubling of already existing initiatives of third parties and support efforts of correspondingly engaged stakeholders in an optimal manner.  Success stories, considerable barriers to awareness and action, upcoming challenges as well as transferability to other countries were addressed.  There was also inclusion of FLW in third countries.
Presentations included were from the World Food Institute, Berlin; French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA); University of Leeds; Food Innovation Taskforce, PIRSA; European Commission (EU); FAO; Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands; The Rockefeller Foundation; and the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI).
The information learnt (and contacts made) will be fed into the Association’s on-going waste transformation projects and the potential “Fight Food Waste and Fraud” CRC.

Click here for more information

“Fight Food Waste and Fraud” Cooperative Research Centre (CRC)

Led by Dr Steve Lapidge, Director Food Innovation Taskforce PIRSA, the proposed Round 19 Fight Food Waste & Fraud Cooperative Research Centre or ‘Food Fight CRC’ aims to fight food waste and fraud to profit and protect the Australian food and wine industries.
The c. $200 million 10 year PIRSA-led organisation will involve a multi-disciplinary approach drawing on the fields of food science, organic chemistry, food safety, molecular biology, genomics, chemical engineering, packaging design, agribusiness and marketing, human and animal nutrition, social science and economics to reduce food waste throughout the food supply chain through various means (consumer research, packaging etc), develop the circular agri-food economy in Australia to valorize unpreventable waste, and protect Australian export products in international markets.
Potato industry research projects that could be conducted through the CRC include:
  • Further evaluation and commercialisation of outcomes of the recently completed SARMS project
  • Technology and support tools for waste transformation
  • Intelligent packaging-improved product storage and shelf life optimisation
  • Product development for the high value nutraceutical market
  • Determining the optimal feedstock combination to ensure the viability of bioenergy production from surplus potatoes
The Association and individual stakeholders in the industry have committed in-kind and cash contributions which will be included in the Expression of Interest to be submitted on 12th July.  Stage 2 for short-listed bids opens in September 2017.  Successful bids will be announced by the Federal Government in March 2018.

Review of the Modern Awards-Horticulture Award

I was a witness at the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) in Sydney on 4 July.

August 2 and 3 are set aside for summary submissions.  The Full Bench will provide its decision following deliberation.

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

WPC International Committee Members; John Coady (GM), David Thompson (Chair and CEO) and Ron Gall (Director) visited Adelaide, South Australia as guests of the Adelaide Convention Bureau (ACB) and Potatoes South Australia from 14-20 May 2017.
Every day was filled with meetings with industry stakeholders, ACB visits to Adelaide’s accommodation, restaurants and other amenities, and regional tourism visits.
Industry stakeholder meetings included with representatives from PMA Aust+NZ, Ausveg, HIA, Plant Health Australia, PIRSA, Biosecurity SA, the University of Adelaide School Agriculture Food and Wine, ViCSPA and Potatoes South Australia.  The Committee Members also met with Senator Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Additionally, the Committee Members were guests of Hon David Ridgway MLC, Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Hon Tim Whetstone MP Member for Chaffey, Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment and Hon Adrian Pederick MP Member for Hammond, Parliamentary Secretary for Primary Industries for a tour of both Houses of Parliament.  This was followed by an industry luncheon and a tour of Zerella Fresh and The Mitolo Group at Virginia.
They were our guests at the Hort Connections Gala Dinner on 17 May at which they met many other industry stakeholders.
Following a presentation to the Committee Members with ACB, we are now fine-tuning the final bid.  The announcement will be made in December following the Committee's site visits in The Netherlands and Ireland. 
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.
Fingers crossed for Australia in 2021!

New Horticulture Code of Conduct

On 1 April 2017, the new Horticulture Code of Conduct came into effect. The Code replaces the old mandatory Horticulture Code established by the Trade Practices (Horticulture Code of Conduct) Regulations 2006 and is regulated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The new mandatory Code has been in effect since 1 April 2017. If you trade in horticulture produce, you must comply with the terms of the new Code.

The key changes in the new Code are:
  • Producers who deal with packing facilities and wholesalers must have a signed Horticulture Produce Agreement (HPA) in place and keep copies of each agreement for six (6) years.
  • Producers should familiarise themselves with the new mandatory code and relevant clauses governing the pricing and handling of produce and dispute resolution mechanisms under the new Code.
  • Many wholesalers and agents are preparing new Horticulture Produce Agreements for their customers. Producers have an obligation under the new code to have a signed HPA in place when trading with a wholesaler.
  • There are now civil penalties (ie fines) in place for non-compliance under the Code.
The main change to the Code is that producers and traders MUST have in place a signed HPA which is compliant with the Code.

Australian producers are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with their rights and responsibilities under the new code. The ACCC has prepared sample HPAs for producers and packing facilities to use online.

In addition to the signing of an HPA, producers are required to keep copies of their HPA, any written notices indicating the producer accepts the agreement, and written notices of termination of the agreement by the grower for six (6) years.

The Code does not apply to purchasers of horticulture produce who sell directly to consumers.
Horticulture produce is unprocessed fruit, vegetables (including mushrooms and other edible fungi), nuts, herbs and other edible plants, but excludes nursery products.

Producers can contact the ACCC using the details below to discuss any further questions they have about the Code and how it applies to their specific business.

ACCC Infocentre: 1300 302 502
Small business help line: 1300 302 021


War on Waste

Did you catch the ABC's TV series War on Waste highlighting our primary producers’ frustration with on-farm food waste? 

Catch up on the episode here

Australian agriculture industry grows to record $56B

According to the Australian Agricultural Census the sector has seen substantial growth with production hitting a record $56 billion in 2015-16, a rise of $3.1 billion

All states except the Northern Territory recorded an increase with the number of Australian farming businesses hitting 85,681, rising one per cent since 2014-15.

The average farm size also rose slightly to 4,331 hectares. The top three crop types were wheat ($6.2 billion), fruit, nuts and grapes ($5.6 billion) and vegetables ($3.6 billion).

Click here for article

Plant biosecurity gets $21m tech injection

Australia is on track to adopt some of the most sophisticated plant pest surveillance technologies in the world, with Horticulture Innovation securing a federal government grant and co-investor funding to deliver a $21 million plant biosecurity push. 

Read more here


TPP Workshop in Virginia

This is being held at Virginia Hort Centre on Tuesday 18 July by Ausveg, assisted by HIA and PIRSA

Click here for invite

PreDicta Pt Training/Accreditation Course-August 2017

The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) will be holding a training workshop in August to instruct agronomists, potato growers and processors on how to access PreDicta Pt; the DNA diagnostic testing service for soil-borne pathogens of potatoes. Those wishing to use or deliver the testing service are required to obtain accreditation from SARDI by participating in a one-day training course.
The workshop will cover the strategies and processes to sample paddocks, along with the interpretation of PreDicta Pt results. For each pathogen included in the PreDicta Pt service, information on symptoms, basic biology, drivers and importance of inoculum, factors conducive to disease and an overview of possible management strategies are provided.
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Date: Monday 7 August
Time: 9:30am – 3:00pm
There is a fee for the course.  Participants will be provided with a manual that covers the information presented, and a soil corer for PreDicta Pt sampling.
Registration Essential !

For further information and to register your interest in the workshop, please contact Michael Rettke via email by Friday July 28.


Click here to view List of Grants available. 


Media Releases 
  • “Playford Council backs down on controversial proposal to increase rates after staunch local opposition” 14 June 2017 
  • “Hort at risk with visa shift”, Smart Farmer/Fairfax Media May issue
  • “Potato value shared for lunch”, Stock Journal, (pages 26,27) 25 May 2017
  • “Hort connections developed“, Stock Journal, (page 3) 18 May 2017
  • “'Potatoes smashed by carbs myths“ The Advertiser, 17 May 2017
  • “Northern growers object to rates plan”, Elizabeth Anderson, The Stock Journal, 20 April and The Courier, 28 May 2017
  • “Producers reject rate hike”, Smart Farmer/Fairfax Media June issue
  • “Single food diet trial a success”, Smart Farmer/Fairfax Media June issue
  • “Lunch displays value of potato”, Smart Farmer/Fairfax Media June issue
  • Alex Sampson, The Weekly Times, 29 May 2017 (Food Waste)
  • Michelle DeLisle, Ausveg Potato Australia Magazine, 30 May 2017 (Potato Industry Luncheon)
  • Mark Soderstrom, FM102.3 16 May 2017 - Andrew Taylor 

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.

Newsletter Contents

Corporate Partners


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



Level 1, 145 South Terrace
Adelaide South Australia

M: +61 427 084 319
P: +61 8 7221 1960




Copyright © 2013 Potatoes South Australia Inc
unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Potatoes South Australia Incorporated · The University of Adelaide, Waite Campus · Building 20, Hartley Grove · Glen Osmond, SA 5064 · Australia

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp