Congratulations to the 2009 winners of the Australian Vegetable Industry Awards
AUSVEG CEO Richard Mulcahy was impressed with the high standard of this year’s awards finalists and recipients, who have achieved outstanding success within the industry.
“Congratulations to every winner and finalist for their commitment to excellence.”
“They have set a very high standard and will no doubt inspire many of their peers in the Australian vegetable industry to aspire to excellence,” said Mr Mulcahy.
The following presentations were made before 350 industry guests
Paul Horne is the owner and director of IPM Technologies P/L.
Paul has been involved for over 13 years with the development and implementation of integrated Pest Management (IPM).
Pauls’ research on biological control agents, cultural practices and selective pesticides has demonstrated the success best IPM practices.
“The value of research is best seen when growers get to implement the results. I set up IPM Technologies with this in mind and took up research into Integrated Pest Management to help growers apply IPM on-farm.” Dr Horne said.
Paul recognised the contribution of Jessica Page who has worked with him since 1995. Paul also thanked Horticulture Australia Limited for supporting his projects and said the award was a great honour.
Ladybird Organics’ innovative contribution to the industry has been the development of a biodegradable packaging that increases product life by approximately 30 per cent.
Ladybird’s salads have expanded organic produce into supermarkets, reaching 2 million sales last year.
Steven Skopilianos, co-owner of Ladybird Organics said, “To be recognised by our peers in this time of drought and bad economic news is very encouraging. It helps us to go back into the paddock and keep planting.”
Having been in the vegetable industry for only eight years hasn’t stopped Kim Vincent from making her mark.
The Founding President of the Hydroponics Association of the Mid North Coast now grows on 40 acres of land, along with 5,000 square metres of hydroponic cultivation.
In addition to being a member of the Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee, Kim has also been proactive in promoting local produce in the Coffs Harbour region, where her property is located.
Kim has opened a retail outlet that sells only local produce, which gives primary producers in the area another avenue for reaching consumers.
“I came into this industry at an older age and I would like to thank the Vegetable Industry Advisory Group (IAC) for their friendship and all their help during the hard times”.
Nathan was the driving force that converted a weed-infested, former grape & tomato farm at Peats Ridge, News South Wales, into an 11-acre NFT hydroponic facility that now employs more than 20 staff and produces between 60,000 and 85,000 bunches of Asian vegetables per week.
Nathan designed and built the operation, and is currently in the process of producing his own seedlings.
“Australian farmers still have many opportunities for growth despite current hurdles.” said Peter.
He listed land-use and the opportunities associated with hydroponics and growing Asian vegetables, as some of the main areas in which growers can benefit.
Peter Dal Santo has worked in pest management / agrichemical industry since 1982.
Peter’s business AgAware work mostly with vegetables, generating the necessary information for the industry to access new pesticides.
Peter has a particular interest in substituting currently-available older pesticides, for newer, reduced-risk pesticides with sound integrated pest management (IPM) profiles and international market acceptance.
Peter said his work coordinating pesticide access and management was rewarding, but difficult at times.
“The industry is going through some big changes with regards to pesticide access, but thanks to past and present Industry Development Officers, we have access to some very clever people and resources,” said Peter.
Source: Hugh Tobin, AUSVEG – 6 May, 2009