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How do retail and production nurseries gain a winning edge in the face of stiff-competition from the big-box chains? By daring to be different and paying strict attention to quality, and most importantly, according to Matthew Evans, sharing their story with customers.
Welcome to the March 2018 edition of the NNN enewsletter. The most important activity in March was the NGIA Board meeting held in Melbourne last week to coincide with MIFGS and to host a delegation of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) – refer separate article. The key items of business at the Board meeting:
An employee’s age is often referred to as critical to understanding their motivations when it comes to attracting and retaining employees. But is this always the case? Only the best managers know!
Purchasing plants and horticultural supplies online is gaining ground given its convenience. Dr Louise Grimmer, Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Tasmania, says online spending accounts for seven to eight percent of the nationwide retail spend (~$21 billion per annum)1. However, online shopping is a huge opportunity for not only retailers, but also green life growers, to improve their bottom line.
The Nursery and Garden Industry network members, and more specifically suppliers to Bunnings, have been advised of the proposed phasing out of neonicotinoid based insecticides with the removal of on-the-shelf products by the end of 2018 and ceasing the application by nursery production growers on plants supplied to Bunnings by the end of 2020.
Welcome to the last NNN Newsletter for 2017. It has been another “quick” year that I hope has been prosperous for you personally and your business. NGIA has again worked on a range of issues to deliver our strategic vision – “We will create a climate for our members and industry to grow and prosper.”
The sector underpins more than $15 billion in national food, fibre and foliage plant production including urban landscape and retail through to fruit, vegetable, forestry and revegetation. It is one of the most heavily invested industries in Australia’s national domestic biosecurity system.
Queensland nursery manager Kieran Studders had two simple goals when he first installed the irrigation system on the four-hectare Big Leaf Wholesale Nurseries site at North Arm, near Eumundi – to save time and water.
Three years on and in the second stage of the Queensland government-funded Rural Water Use Efficiency Irrigation Futures initiative, Kieran has achieved a 60 per cent improvement in water use efficiency (WUE).
Mr Studders said managing water well is critical to the future of the nursery industry.
“Without water we’re nothing, and while it takes a lot of work to maximise WUE, the benefits far outweigh the negatives,” he said.
In close to 30 years of operation, Lizard Mountain Nursery near Yeppoon had not really felt the wrath of nature until 2015 when Category Five Tropical Cyclone Marcia crossed the coast of Central Queensland.
By the time she made landfall to the north at Shoalwater Bay, and then hit Lizard Mountain as a Category Four system, Marcia not only upended Ian and Elaine Stewart’s nursery, but also their entire approach to the management of their business, which produces palms, cycads and foliage plants for the chain store market in Queensland, NSW and Western Australia.
In Sydney on Monday 13 November, the Nursery & Garden Industry (NGI) National Board and NGI State Presidents, representatives and Executive Officers met to discuss the next report on the Structure Review of the Australian nursery & garden industry, handed down earlier this month.
As we close in on the end of Spring, I hope it has been a successful trading period which continues up to and during the festive season. November was a particularly busy month with many meetings and activities that needed to be conducted and completed before the end of the year. Below is an overview of some of the meetings and activities conducted:
The untapped potential of Australia’s nursery industry, discovered during a trip to see family in 2008, prompted Peter Jong and his father Nico to close their nursery in the Netherlands and shift their operation ‘downunder’. [READ FULL]
FINAL CALL: UP TO $8,000 AVAILABLE FOR WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Women currently working in the retailsector have a final opportunity to register their interest in a scholarship worth up to $8,000 to support participation in an accredited leadership development program.
Critical to demonstrating compliance for all certification programs, private or government, are the requirements for well documented and consistently maintained records that will verify activities including inputs being free of contaminants and staff are complying with hygienic production protocols.
Nine ornamentals growers, from Canada, China, Colombia, Israel and The Netherlands have reached the finals of the AIPH International Grower of the Year Awards (IGOTY) 2018.
Three professional development programs for nursery employees are meeting the industry’s goal of nurturing future innovators and young leaders, with the first students of the inaugural Global Masterclass in Horticultural Business set to graduate by the end of the year.
Three students selected from within the nursery industry have described the Masterclass offered through the University of Tasmania (UTAS) as ‘unique’, ‘inspiring’ and ‘contributing to the awareness of horticulture’s importance’.
The nursery industry will once again allocate $30,000 worth of scholarship funding towards the Masterclass in 2018. Those that have a strong interest in, and passion for, building their skills and the industry’s capacity are encouraged to apply before 12 November 2017.
The International Statistics Flowers and Plants 2017 yearbook shares the available data on the global production and trade of flowers and plants. Produced by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) and Union Fleurs it has become invaluable to trade organisations, policy makers, marketeers, producers, traders, libraries and universities.
Initially, I will be looking forward with this update, to the upcoming NGIA Board meeting on 13 and 14 November. It is an extremely important meeting as we will be having a joint session of the NGIA Board, State Presidents and CEOs and representatives of the Structural Change Advisory Committee (SCAC) to discuss and assess the SCAC report and outline the next steps in the NGI structure review process.
The nursery industry has today unveiled a new-look national consumer campaign encouraging Australians to increase the ‘plant-life balance’ in their homes, their workplaces and their communities.
The Plant Life Balance program is designed to increase demand for Australia’s high-quality nursery stock by getting Australians excited about placing more green life in their homes and promoting the benefits of plants to our health and wellbeing.
The launch marks a new era for Plant Life Balance, which is supported by a suite of resources for retail nurseries and consumers, including plant styling guides and a phone app, to provide Australians with a ‘plant health’ rating for their home.
The nursery industry, together with Hort Innovation and RMIT University contributed to the development of the campaign, which forms part of the industry’s broader marketing effort to increase green space in urban areas by 20 per cent by 2020, under the 202020 Vision initiative.
Working with nature to dramatically reduce chemical application has paid off for Simon Smith, who hasn’t used a non-organic pesticide spray for more than eight years at his production nursery, 25km from Darwin in Australia’s Top End.
‘The Plantsmith’ is set on an 8,000 square metre site with the majority of plants grown under protective cropping to exclude pests and help shield them from the extreme heat and intense rainfall for which the region’s tropical climate is infamous.
It is a tradition of the national conference that delegates spend a day visiting the exceptional industry businesses of the host State, and the 2018 Conference is no exception.
Since 2008, it has been island hopping in a southerly direction down the Torres Strait Island group. The Northern Australian Quarantine Strategy (NAQS) and Biosecurity Queensland has been tracking the movement of this pest since its detection in the Strait. In 2015, Vegetable Leafminer was detected on the Cape York Peninsula and the Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests recommended that it was not technically feasible to eradicate from the region.
The nursery industry is another step closer to benefitting from a national framework for measuring urban green space (UGS), after the completion of the research project, ‘Measuring Australia’s green space asset’.
A national system of metrics and measurement to quantify both the demand side of UGS (land cover, extent of the area) and the supply side (benefits to health, local economy, visual improvement) would provide valuable information for nursery growers, media producers and landscape architects looking to supply planting material for cities.Researchers from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) concluded that a nationally consistent framework or ‘blueprint’ to measure a range of factors for urban green space was highly likely to be adopted and could realistically be implemented.
It is with deep sadness that we advise members of the passing of Max Warner. Max passed away peacefully on Friday 28 July at Bellbird Hospital in the company of his family, he was age 82. He devoted a large part of his life to Warner’s Nurseries, and also to the National and Victorian nursery scene.
Learning as a practice has changed over the last few decades and transitioned from something which was done in isolation with clearly defined times and places for knowledge acquisition (school) and application (the work environment). Instead learning has transitioned to a practice which is ongoing, with fewer boundaries and can be formal or informal or self-directed learning.
July has been another busy month with Mike Mehigan and I meeting with the NGISA, NGIV, NGINA and NGIQ Boards. The aim of these meetings has been to work through a range of issues including the structure review, our engagement with Hort Innovation, the Farm Management System and a number of governance matters.
The Nursery & Garden Industry National Conference & Exhibition in 2018 heads to the beautiful dockside city of Hobart from February 19-21. Held only every two years, the Nursery & Garden Industry National Conference is the pinnacle event for Industry which will be hosted by the heritage listed Wrest Point Casino,
Born on the 7thJune 1933, Frank Hart passed away peacefully on the 10thJune 2017 after a tough 18 month battle with cancer. Frank is survived by his loving wife Margaret, three sons, Steven, Kerrie and Russell, ten Grandchildren and seventeen Great Grandchildren. Frank will be remembered not only as a hard worker and a solid family man, but for his quick wit and cheeky love of fun, and also someone quick to share his wisdom and knowledge with family, friends and colleagues.
A roadmap for the future of the nursery industry has been released, outlining the priorities for research and development (R&D) and marketing over the next five years, to support its growth and sustainability.
The industry plays a vital role in the physical, economic and environmental well-being of all Australians, with nurseries involved in the ornamental market, forestry, revegetation for mining, landscaping and starter plants for Australia’s fruit and vegetable production.
The Nursery Strategic Investment Plan 2017–2021 (SIP) will help to guide decisions on projects to be funded by the nursery levy, which is managed by Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation).
For every dollar invested, it is anticipated the industry will receive $8.50 – a net benefit over five years of $140 million.
Investing in a 20,000 square metre retractable roof greenhouse has enabled one of Australia’s longest running wholesale nurseries to increase production by around 25 per cent in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne.
Humphris Nursery built the Cravo Retractable Roof Production System™ on a sloping block with a 5 per cent gradient on their existing 16 hectare nursery site at Mooroolbark, with the aim of protecting crops of retail and landscape plants from excessive cold, heat, rain, hail and wind.
I was involved in significant activity in May with an NGIA Board meeting and attendance at Hort Connections, the Plant Breeder’s Right Consultative Group, a number of levy funded project steering committees, National Management Group meetings for biosecurity issues, Voice of Horticulture meetings and this week Plant Health Australia meetings. I would like to provide details on some of the key activities from those meetings that I hope is of interest to you.
The increasing threat of exotic pests, weeds and disease that comes with globalisation has put biosecurity preparedness top of mind for Queensland based group, Green Fingers Potting Mix and Rocky Point Mulching.
Now in their sixth year at a 70 acre site at Woongoolba, located north of the City of Gold Coast, the group has continued to grow its market share, while at the same time adopting best practice programs and standards to remain ahead of the curve.
When specialist perennial wholesale business Cameron’s Nursery ran out of water for a second time during the 1990s due to prolonged drought and no access to potable water, owners Sonja and Andy Cameron began researching new ways to capture and recycle water, to ensure it didn’t happen again.
Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across Australia’s retail sector.
The initiative is providing women with grants of between $3,000 and $8,000 to enable participation in a range of leadership development programs.
The leadership development programs are part-time and delivered nationally via WLA’s blended learning model. Scholarship funding is strictly limited and has to be allocated prior to the end of this financial year (June 30).
Expressions of Interest
Find out more and register your interest by completing the Expression of Interest form here prior to June 16, 2017: http://www.wla.edu.au/assoc-june17.html
The increasing prevalence of green roofs and green walls in urban building design in Australia opens up a tremendous opportunity for the nursery industry to increase its role in providing expert advice, as well as suitable plants.
When Darren Mason, now sales director for Andreasens Green wholesale nurseries, started his nursery career in 1983, his first major project was to grow and deliver plant material for the podium rooftop garden on top of Parliament House in Sydney.
Understanding the needs of different plants and the impact of local conditions, and investing in quality growing media to suit, is a key focus of modern, successful nurseries.Van Schaik’s Bio Gro has been part of the journey with growers, celebrating 40 years in business and now one of Australia’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of growing media and landscape products with over 100 employees across five operational sites.
A strong advocate of the need for the industry to strive for constant improvement, Mr Groom says there’s a good financial incentive behind many of the changes encouraged through best management practice schemes.
HMA is currently looking at the potential to streamline and unify the association and bring it up with modern times. Tabled by the National Executive, the initiative proposes that in future, members would be part of the one national Association rather than being members of independent state HMA Associations
Biosecurity is probably the issue for industry at the moment. On the surface it would appear that biosecurity obligations require that growers expend a lot but where are the returns?
The very beginning of the Australian horticulture supply chain will be represented at Hort Connections 2017, as Nursery and Garden Industry Australia Limited (NGIA) becomes the latest co-host for the industry conference and Trade Show, to be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 15-17 May.
The Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) is a formal, legally binding agreement between Plant Health Australia (PHA), the Australian Government, all state and territory governments and plant industry signatories, covering the management and funding of responses to Emergency Plant Pest (EPP) Incidents.
The nursery industry has taken a significant step towards streamlining the trade of plants between states, following years of dedicated engagement and support with state governments for changes to existing legislation.
The Queensland government has passed amendments to its Biosecurity Act 2014, and it’s hoped BioSecure HACCP will soon be recognised as an approved third party accreditation scheme for certifying growers trading plants within and across state borders.
Five years ago, Perth’s City of Stirling planted around 1,000 street trees a year. These days it’s more like 6,000 – and the change is attributed in part to the nursery industry’s 202020 Vision initiative.
Carole Fudge from WA-based Benara Nurseries says the business has increased its production of medium and large trees by tens of thousands in recent years, as other urban councils also take on board the benefits of increasing green space.
The latest volume contains the current available data on the global production and trade of ornamental flowers and plants.
Drones are becoming cheaper, more accessible and more user friendly. This article considers potential uses of drones within a production nursery business now and into the near future.
An information forum on BioSecure HACCP will be held for growers interested in participating in the industry on farm biosecurity management program.
The forum will be held at Boomaroo Nursery in Lara, Victoria on the 16th of March. Positions at the forum are limited and interested growers should complete the attached RSVP to secure their place asap.
When Jamberoo Native Nursery (JNN) was approached by the local council about chemical spray drift, responding was easy.
As part of maintaining its EcoHort™ accreditation, the company had fully documented the control measures in place to ensure there was no impact on surrounding properties, and that was the end of the matter.
FMS renewals for 2017 are due and NGIA encourages all businesses intending to renew their NIASA, EcoHort or BioSecure HACCP certification to do so as soon as possible as this will greatly assist in planning the year ahead and keeping costs to a minimum for all involved.
Healthy trees improve the liveability of urban landscapes and improve community wellbeing, and research is helping to ensure the quality of newly planted trees so they have a long and productive life.
The project Evaluation of nursery tree stock balance parameters (NY15001) involves collecting measurements from nurseries around the country to provide data backing for an industry standard known as AS2303: 2015 Tree Stock for Landscape Use.
The Annual AORA Conference features workshops, presentations, awards, Gala dinner and industry tours. This is an opportunity to network with industry leaders and celebrate outstanding achievements in the Organics Recycling Industry. Invite AORA National Conference 2016.pdf
Draft Program Released AORA National Conference DRAFT Program 3-5 August 2016.pdf
Between the Rows – HIA is coming to you
HIA has been invited to conduct a growers' meeting that is co-ordinated with the 2015 NSW Farmers AGM and dinner. Come and meet HIA and hear about the company, its investment pools and gain an insight on the latest strategic areas of investment in the Sydney basin region.
Have your say on what's important for horticulture in your area and how you want your levy money spent.
DATE: Monday,13 July 2015
TIME: 3.00pm to 5.00pm
LOCATION: North Sydney Harbourview Hotel
Click hereto view the agenda and register your interest by Sunday,12 July 2015.
Announced today: A national tour tasked with tackling Australia’s decline in urban green space is heading to our major cities to gather the solutions to reverse this trend, with the first date kicking off in Adelaide (14 Oct).
Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) is the peak industry body for the Australian nursery and garden industry and is responsible for overseeing the national development and coordination of Research and Development (R&D) programs in consultation with HAL and regional associations.
HAL and the NGIA are inviting preliminary R&D proposals for new research concepts, ideas and technologies that meet the priorities listed in the Nursery & Garden Industry Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) 2012-2016.
Nursery and Garden Industry Australia have just released Version 2 of their Plant Labelling Guidelines. The updated Guidelines were developed in close consultation with growers, label manufacturers, retailers and industry representatives including a legal team with a specialist interest in intellectual property within the nursery industry. Originally released in 2007, the guidelines were designed to provide industry with an easy to follow guide in the preparation of accurate and unambiguous labels and marketing materials for plants.
Australia’s Mansfield’s Propagation Nursery has received the Silver Rose in the prestigious International Grower of the Year Award by the prestigious International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH). It is the first time an Australian nursery has competed in the Awards.
Revised Import Conditions for Nursery Stock (including tissue cultures)
As part of the medium risk nursery stock import pathway review, Plant Quarantine Operations is introducing a notice of importation form for nursery stock imports (including high risk species). In addition, the DAFF Biosecurity approved sources of tissue cultures free of media has been reviewed and amended.
Further details are provided in Public Quarantine Alert PQA0818 on ICON.
Nursery and Garden Industry Australia launches The Australian Nursery and Garden Industry's Policy Position on Quarantine and Biosecurity21 March 2012
Nursery and Garden Industry Australia launched The Australian Nursery and Garden Industry's Policy Position on Quarantine and Biosecurity at its National Conference on Thursday 15 March 2012.
Nursery Industry Accreditation Scheme Australia (NIASA) and EcoHort guidelines for managing the environment have been given the Smart Approved WaterMark (SAWM) stamp of approval.
With growing consumer concern about the environment many businesses now promote their ‘green’ credentials to differentiate themselves and their product from the competition.
Consumers are more interested than ever in their health and wellbeing, including living in a healthy environment. Indoor plants and outdoor gardens have distinct and proven health benefits and through the across industry funded HAL project, Health and wellbeing in horticulture, the nursery industry will have access to a wealth of information, about the benefit of green-life, to use in marketing and communication activities.
As the great Aussie ‘quarter-acre block dream’ and inner city housing affordability put even greater pressure on the city fringes, understanding the issues around peri-urban land use planning and its impacts on horticulture is increasingly important. The concept of agricultural land ‘awaiting urban development’ via an ad hoc process of conversion is often regarded as an inevitable outcome of population and economic growth.
While the landscape of the Australian backyard is changing, our passion for spending time outdoors isn't. In Newspoll results released today, an astounding 86% of Australians believe that the health, wellbeing and relaxation benefit their garden provides is the top reason they spend time in their backyards.