Home' Grower : October 2013 Contents News
12 The South Australian Grower -- October 2013
By COLIN BETTLES
HORTICULTURAL groups in NSW,
Queensland, Victoria and WA
recently joined forces to pressure
the Federal government into
adopting a mandatory code of
conduct to protect farmers against
potential market power abuse by
But the move shocked other key
industry groups who were working
to develop a voluntary code of
conduct to address supply chain
The National Farmers Federation,
which aborted the voluntary code
development process in March,
in backing a mandatory code of
conduct, was largely in the dark
about the new development.
NSW Farmers Association
horticulture committee chairman
Peter Darley said a new committee
comprising state farming groups
had been established to lobby for a
The NSW apple grower and
committee spokesman said they
wanted changes made to the Trade
Practices Act to promote fairer
trade and greater transparency
among horticultural producers,
processors and the retail duopoly.
He said changes to the Act would
also give the Australian Competition
and Consumer Commission more
powers to protect growers from
poor price returns.
"We need fair and equitable trade
and better transparency to protect
growers," he said.
Mr Darley said the new coalition
government and Small Business
Minister Bruce Billson had
committed to a "root and branch
inquiry" of national competition
regulations, pertaining to the Act
and the ACCC's powers.
He said moves by other industry
groups, to develop a voluntary
code of conduct, was akin to
"reinventing the wheel".
"Governments talk of food
security and do nothing about it
but now there's a chance for (new
Minister for Agriculture) Barnaby
Joyce to legislate for food security
to protect food security in this
country," he said.
NFF CEO Matt Linnegar said
the new group's moves did not
change their position supporting
a mandatory code, or looking at a
voluntary code "with real teeth".
A spokesperson for the Australian
Food and Grocery Council said
its work to develop a voluntary
code of conduct with the two
big supermarkets would remain
unaltered by the horticultural
committee's new moves.
Coles' spokesman Rob Hadler said
a raft of proposals and government
reviews were underway looking at
supply chain competition issues
but it was too early to say what the
outcomes would be.
During the recent Federal election
campaign, Tony Abbott backed the
industry's current move to develop
a voluntary code of conduct saying
it was "a good thing".
"I would prefer as far as is
humanly possible to allow the good
sense of the people in the sector to
prevail, rather than start to impose
solutions from government," he
New group for 'mandatory'
Horticulture visionaries lead with faith
IN the past three and a half
decades, I have had the oppor-
tunity to work with -- and for
some -- visionary people in a range
of horticultural industries, and
have had the honour of being
mentored by them.
State: Malcolm Lewis, and the
late Doug Smart, Gavin Wilton
and Frank Ugody.
National: Ben Swane, Ralph
Groves, and the late Valerie
Apple and pear industry
State: Doug Bishop, Cam
Stafford, John Plummer, Mike
Nicol and Bruce Lockier
National: Darral Ashton, Kevin
Baddiley and Jon Durham
State: Kym Green, Ian Sparnon
and Grant Wotton
National: Barrie Gaudion and
National: Chris Joyce
Horticulture in general:
David Cain (Citrus Board), Bob
Snewin (Dairy Industry/Cranio
Facial), Ian Doyle (Rural Media)
and Walter Duncan (RA&HS
The one thing that was common
to all of them was that they were
true craftsmen and women in their
chosen fields of production and
They are people with vision,
and strong and vibrant leaders.
Most importantly, they are people
who put aside personal gain for
the betterment of the industry,
and 'take up the fight' on issues
important to the industry.
'Standing in the trenches' has
been one of life's great experiences.
A number of these leaders have
been honoured for their contribu-
tions to the industry.
Ian Sparnon -- the honourary
Mayor of Montacute -- was made
a life member of Cherry Growers
of Australia Inc.
He has been involved in the
SA and Australian horticulture
industry as a cherry, plum and
lemon producer and marketer,
and been an integral part of the
establishment of the SA cherry
Along with Kym Green and
Grant Wotton, Ian established the
Cherry Growers Association of SA
Inc after many years of involve-
ment with the horticulture section
of the South Australian Farmers
The state association has played a
strong role in the development of
Cherry Growers of Australia.
This is a quote from the life
membership citation: 'Ian is
considered by his peers as a level
headed man who thoughtfully
considers issues, often thinking
outside the square'.
I can only support this
Jon Durham recently retired
from his role with Apple and
Pear Australia Limited. Like Ian
Sparnon, he started as a young
man on the family farm at Bacchus
Marsh in Vic, growing a range
of horticultural crops with an
emphasis on apples and cherries.
He has held numerous roles in
industry organisations, includ-
ing as president of the regional
Orchardists and Fruit Coolstores
Association, a member of the
Victorian Apple and Pear Growers
Council and the national body, and
president of the Australian Apple
and Pear Growers Association.
In 1996, Jon was chief executive
officer of AAPGA, and later took
up the role as APAL managing
director when the company was
established in 2002.
In 2008, Jon stepped down to
become general manager of the
Intellectual Property Division of
APAL -- a division charged with
managing the Pink Lady business.
But after an APAL restructure in
2010, Jon Durham was back in his
role as APAL managing director.
Jon led the Australian apple and
pear industries, and the broader
horticultural trade, through some
major structural changes.
Jon will also be remembered
as one of the strong leaders who
argued for many years to protect
Australia from the bacterial disease
fire blight -- Erwina amylovora.
While Jon is leaving the 'cut and
thrust' of industry agri-politics to
join his two sons on the family
property at Bacchus Marsh, the
legacy he leaves is immeasurable.
APM inaugural board
On September 21, the horticul-
tural community honoured the
vision of the inaugural board of
the Adelaide Produce Markets at
its 25th anniversary gala event
held at the Adelaide Convention
This group of producers and
agents from the East End Market
established Adelaide Produce
Markets Limited, bought land
at the meat saleyards/SAMCOR
Paddocks at Gepps Cross, and
built the first privately owned
produce markets in Australia.
Now, 25 years later, APM is a
thriving centre point of the SA
fruit and vegetable industry.
In addition, much of the facade
of the original East End Market
survives as a reminder of the his-
tory of the early produce market.
Our leaders in the industry have
shown vision and innovation, and
are committed to shaping the
SA and Australian horticultural
industries to make them stronger,
vibrant and resilient.
They are the true icons of our
industry -- I salute them.
Details: Trevor M Ranford B.Sc., Dip MP
(AIMSA), CPMgr, independent horticul-
tural consultant, 0417 809 172,
with TREVOR RANFORD
Ian Sparnon (left)
being presented with
his life membership
certificate by Cherry
Growers of Australia
Smith at the National
Dinner in Canberra in
Jon Durham led
apple and pear
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