Home' Grower : May 2012 Contents The South Australian Grower -- May 2012
Delegates will see how new ideas in irrigation can be applied to farms
and rural areas as well as learn about the latest research and
technological advances including food production, cropping, salinity and
water-quality control, and risk management.
Sustainable irrigation is
focus of IAL conference
now open for the largest
irrigation event held in
Hosted by Irrigation Australia
Limited, it will be held from June
24-29 at the Adelaide Convention
The 2012 IAL Conference will
feature the gathering of the
International Executive Council
for the International Commission
on Irrigation and Drainage,
alongside Irrigation Australia's
own annual Conference and
Trade Show over three days in
conjunction with the seventh
ICID Asian Regional Conference.
Running over four days, the
event will offer seminars on
essential irrigation topics with key
speakers from government,
agriculture, and environmental
Delegates will see how new
ideas in irrigation can be applied
to farms and rural areas as well as
learn about the latest research and
technological advances including
food production, cropping,
salinity and water-quality control,
and risk management.
With the Australian irrigation
industry leading the way
internationally, the event will bring
together experts, colleagues, and
associations from many geographic
locations to share knowledge and
develop irrigation initiatives.
Occupying more than 5000
square metres, the Trade Show
will feature companies such as
irrigation equipment suppliers,
importers, distributors and
retailers all showcasing their
products and ser vices to the
Launching at the Trade Show in
2012 is the Wet Pit Demonstration
Area, which will bring a new
dimension for visitors and a real
'touch and feel' experience.
Visitors can learn about new
technologies from leading
suppliers in the water industry and
see experts demonstrating their
products and skills.
For Australian exhibitors the
event offers a wider, and more
international, audience for their
products and ser vices.
Further, it is an opportunity for
Australian companies and
organisations to demonstrate their
experience to the rest of the world.
Irrigation Australia chief
executive Ian Atkinson explained
why the Australian irrigation
industry should feel proud.
"Australia is recognised as a
world leader in irrigation
management and water reform,"
"Many countries still talk of
how they can exploit their water
resources, not how they can be
made more sustainable.
"We can deser vedly feel proud
of what we are doing and I
encourage acknowledgement of
our irrigation industry.
"For international and domestic
Conference delegates as well as
ICID Asian Regional
Trade show 'touch and feel'
Trade Show visitors, the event is
an excellent opportunity to see all
the best irrigation equipment
"With presentation papers on
the latest developments in
technology and management as
well the biggest Trade Show in
the Southern Hemisphere you
can't afford not to be at this year's
event in Adelaide."
While announcing the launch of
this year's conference, Mr Atkinson
also announced Stephen Mills as
the new co-chairman joining the
team to head the 2012 conference.
"Having worked at senior levels
in the irrigation industry, Stephen
is an extremely valuable addition
and Irrigation Australia is excited
about bringing his expertise to
our event," he said.
Mr Mills started his career as a
dairyfarmer and has ser ved on
numerous executive councils and
committees including the
Australian National Committee on
Irrigation and Drainage and the
International Commission of
Irrigation and Drainage.
In 2002, he was awarded the
Centenary Medal for his ser vices
to the irrigation industry.
Farmers markets fighting back against supermarket duopoly
By ANDREW MARSHALL
AUSTRALIA'S fledgling farmers market
movement might not seem much of a
player compared with the shopping
power of the supermarket giants, but
surging support for community produce
markets indicates they have struck a
chord with consumers.
Even property developers are looking
at how to include farmers market
venues in new shopping precincts or
urban planning projects, says national
representative on the Australian
Farmers Markets Association, Jane
New research by the Australian
Bureau of Agricultural Resource
Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has
found that 44 per cent of the 160-plus
weekly or monthly farmers markets
across Australia service a population of
almost 50,000 customers.
In capital cities, which host a third of
Australia's farmers markets, the total
customer base is about 100,000.
Almost 70pc of markets nation-wide
are reporting rising stall holder
numbers and 64pc of stall holders
report rising customer numbers.
Most importantly, Ms Adams said,
97pc of stall operators see these
markets as a sustainable long term
opportunity to sell their product direct
Given that 50 cents in every food
dollar spent in Australia goes into a
cash register at a Coles or Woolworths
supermarket, she said the past
decade's emergence of farmers
markets as a food sales alternative to
the super powers was significant.
"This is a grass roots good story," Ms
"There's increasing evidence that
consumers continue to hold positive
attitudes about local products and like
the direct contact and learning
opportunities that come with dealing
"Producers also want alternative
She said inner Sydney's Eveleigh
market, held for just five hours, drew
3500 to 6000 shoppers every Saturday
to its 70-plus stalls, with some
producers, notably meat suppliers,
turning over thousands of dollars each
According to the Victorian Farmers
Markets Association the economic
impact from 97 markets was estimated
in 2010 at almost $230 million,
compared with a national turnover of
just $40m six years earlier.
The farmers markets concept had
proven so successful that
supermarkets were attempting to
mimic the fresh produce selling
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