National nursery conference a hot house of innovation

More than 240 nursery growers and industry representatives gathered in Hobart this week for the biennial Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) National Conference to discover the latest trends and research advancing Australia’s $2.29 billion green life sector.

Featuring an exciting line up of speakers, the event covered a range of topics such as automation and drones, crop and greenhouse trends, marketing and urban forest strategies, professional development programs and biosecurity best practice, as well as production and retail tours of local nurseries.

NGIA Chief Executive Officer, Peter Vaughan, said the conference provided an important opportunity for growers and the broader supply chain to come together, share knowledge and take learnings back to their business.

“Business is booming for Australia’s nursery industry. We’re seeing great optimism across the supply chain as consumer demand for high-quality, safe and diversified green life continues to grow at home and abroad,” Mr Vaughan said.

“The key focus of this year’s conference was about equipping industry with the latest research outcomes and technical know-how, in order to capitalise on future opportunities and achieve ‘the growing edge’ in their business.”

Delegates heard about revolutionary rooftop greenhouses and large scale vertical gardens transforming our cities, as well as the latest products and packaging that encourages us to rethink the role and purpose of green life as we know it.

“Tasmania has been a fantastic destination for the conference and I’d like to thank the local businesses who opened their doors to delegates on the retail and production tour to showcase the state’s innovative and diverse industry," Mr Vaughan said.

Hort Innovation was the principle R&D partner for the conference with Chair, Selwyn Snell, presenting on the strategic direction of nursery levy investments including the Green Cities Fund, which brings together a range of partners to deliver new research aimed at supporting urban greening.

Hort Innovation delivers R&D and marketing projects for the nursery industry using industry levies and contributions from the Australian Government. These projects are developed through a strategic and consultative process that aligns with the industry’s investment plan for the next five years.

Current nursery levy investments cover biosecurity, market trends, people and leadership, data and analytics and tools for effective business decision making, along with the industry’s latest marketing campaign, Plant Life Balance .

For more information, visit the NGIA Conference website.