Home' Grower : September 2013 Contents The South Australian Grower -- September 2013 13
Safer spaces overcome supply weakness
A HOT topic at the Protected
Cropping Australia conference this
year was catering to the needs of
supermarkets, with Woolworths
and Coles making up 50 per cent
of the fresh fruit and vegetable
Coles category manager for
soft vegetables Tim Walsh had
some complimentary words for
protected cropping, asserting that
it offered risk mitigation, quality
and consistency benefits for
"In today's agricultural
landscape, the biggest risk to a
category is non-supply," he said.
"We can make every plan in
the world, however, if there is a
weakness in supply, leading to
non-supply, poor availability and
empty shelves and ultimately
disappointed customers, then the
plan has been a complete failure.
"If the customer is not able to
purchase the product they want,
at the time they want it, then
the risk is that the customer will
simply drop their basket and leave
As an example, Mr Walsh pointed
to the environmental factors that
affected five tomato-growing
regions in Australia in the past two
"Where protected cropping
is highly important is where
it provides an alternative to
broadacre farming," he said.
"The protected environment,
whilst it faces its own pressures
from mother nature, provides a
safer environment than outdoor
All eyes on global horticulture congress
THE Protected Cropping Australia
Conference is typically the biggest
date on the calendar for the industry,
but a keynote speaker at the event
talked about an even more significant
event coming to our shores next year.
University of Melbourne honorary
fellow Geoff Connellan previewed
the 29th International Horticultural
Congress, to take place in Brisbane
from August 17 to 22 next year.
The prestigious event takes place
every four years, but the Southern
Hemisphere has only hosted it once
before -- at Sydney in 1974.
Mr Connellan said about 30
protected cropping institutions from
all corners of the globe would be
represented at the congress.
"It's the largest world event in
horticulture and attracts 2000 to 3000
delegates and is a major event in the
history of horticulture in Australia,"
The congress will be hosted by the
Australian Society of Horticultural
Science, the New Zealand Institute of
Agricultural and Horticultural Science,
and the Secretariat of the Pacific
Community, under the auspices of the
International Society for Horticultural
The theme of the 2014 congress
is Horticulture -- Sustaining Lives,
Livelihoods and Landscapes.
In his speech, Mr Connellan
encouraged growers to submit
abstracts for the paper published in
Acta Horticulture before the event.
The deadline for submissions of
abstracts closes on Friday, November
1, 2013 while registrations to attend
the event will open on Monday,
September 30. Early bird registrations
close Monday, February 17, 2014.
plants many new ideas
THIS year's Protected
Cropping Australia con-
ference was a big one for
floriculturists, featuring two full
days of dedicated content for the
The action kicked off with a
morning tour of the Melbourne
Flower Market, organised by
Rennae Christensen, Flowers
A series of talks covering issues
in the cut flower industry fol-
lowed, and featured presenta-
tions from locals Paul Horne
of Integrated Pest Management
Technologies, Rob Schwartz of
the Department of Agriculture,
Fisheries and Forestry, as well
as international guests Herman
Eijkelboom and Wim van der
Ende of the Netherlands.
Mr Eijkelboom presented an
analysis of nutrient deficiency in
floricultural crops, while Mr van
der Ende offered his insights into
temperature, water and carbon-
dioxide levels for flowers.
The next day, growers were out
of the conference room and into
the field, with a Ball Australia-
sponsored flower farm tour.
The tour started with a visit to
TNB Tulips, where Els and Nick
Bakker demonstrated the ben-
efits of investing in automated
equipment for their produc-
tion line and featured rolling
benches, sorting and bunching
The pair said their investment
in Bercomex Furora equipment
was worth every dollar, increas-
ing quality and reducing labour
costs in processing.
Next on the tour was a trip
to the new glasshouse at Sunny
Hill Flowers, where Rob de Wit
showed how he grew rows lilies
in crates using Potveer machin-
ery to fill the crates with steamed
soil and planting bulbs by hand.
Next up was a visit to Joe
Raudino's no-fuss operation
growing low-profit-margin crops
such as Delphinium, Kale and
Stock in a plastic greenhouse
without the latest technologies.
To finish, attendees went to
the Big Bouquet to see how
Bert Rijk uses integrated pest
management to protect his glass-
house gerberas from insects.
Representing Carter & Spencer, Bundaberg, Queensland, are Andrew
Christodoulou and Jason Smith.
Boomaroo Nurseries production team leader Dave Bertino with Nick
Crackwell, Cracknell Tomatoes, Tasmania.
La Trobe University greenhouse operations manager Larry Jewell with
Bede Miller, Powerplants.
Australian Contour Packaging sales manager Christian Miles
won best new product.
Protected Cropping Australia company
secretary Saskia Blanch with conference
delegates Magalise Watkins and Tom
Parks, NSW DPI.
are Paige Woo
and Dawn Lee.
Links Archive August 2013 October 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page