Hort Connections 2019 is over for another year with close to 3500 delegates attending what has been AUSVEG and PMA ANZ’s biggest industry event to date.
As the premiere event for the horticulture industry, the trade show and conference is a joint initiative between AUSVEG and the Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ). The success of the event lies in Hort Connections’ ability to bring all corners of the horticulture supply chain together, from primary producers to retailers and agribusiness companies. It aims to build the knowledge and networks of industry members – from sharing world-leading research to offering a huge range of business opportunities on the trade show floor.
“Hort Connections is privileged to work with some of the best national and multinational agribusiness companies. We are reliant on these strong, ongoing relationships to deliver the event successfully to all of our stakeholders. Without these partnerships with companies such as Boomaroo and all the Hort Connections sponsors, the event simply wouldn’t be able to run,” said AUSVEG’s Nathan McIntyre
During the three-day program, attendees enjoyed the exchange of ideas with industry experts, growers and exhibitors, an impressive line-up of presentations and of course, reconnecting with old friends.
Boomaroo Nurseries’ stand tapped into some of the recurring themes from the Hort Connections program including sustainable food production, harnessing the benefits of technology, healthy eating and engaging the next generation to further developing talent within our industry.
Boomaroo proudly hosted a number of exciting industry partnership programs. These included a joint venture between AUSVEG VIC and Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation for the announcement of the Schools on Farms Pilot Program. This initiative not only aims to encourage healthy eating amongst school children but also a long term interest in farming and future careers in Horticulture. From school children to university students, Boomaroo also hosted the PMA ANZ Careers Program, involving a speaker panel from industry leaders Woolworths, Perfection Fresh, Elders, BASF, EE Muirs & Sons, NGIA and Tarranto Farms. Conversations surrounding these events, both amongst growers and industry partners, will ensure the ongoing reach and success of these great initiatives.
Steve Winter, Boomaroo Head of Sales, provided the introductory address for the AUSVEG Innovation and Sustainability speaker series. Presentations from this series included the launch of Fair Farms with Thomas Hertel; as well as discussions of food safety and traceability; maximising energy productivity and efficiency in horticulture; and farm innovation and sustainability.
More colour was introduced to the event when the Boomaroo stand turned pink as a nod to our continued support of Women in Horticulture. Boomaroo Nurseries opened the much-anticipated Women in Horticulture afternoon session, featuring thought-provoking presentations from Tammie Matson (Australian Zoologist of Matson & Ridley) and Josie Thomson (CEO Wise Advocate Enterprises) with a focus on facing fears and positive thinking. This event also raised money and awareness for Share the Dignity – an initiative that aims to make life a little easier for women in need. Finally, the event took time to recognise and celebrate the achievements of all the finalists of the Boomaroo Nurseries Women in Horticulture Award and #WIH1000reasons, a new initiative to recognise everyday achievement.
As always, Hort Connect 2019 culminated with the annual One Harvest Gala Dinner, celebrating the wealth of talent within our industry across a multitude of award categories. Special congratulations go to Carmel Ingram (Bonaccord Ingram) as recipient of the Boomaroo Nurseries National in Horticulture Award – a fantastic achievement!
Anticipation is already high for Hort Connections 2020 in sunny Brisbane and all that it has in store.