Sustainability, resilience and the future of the Western Australia’s horticulture sector will be the focus of the State’s premier industry conference to be held in Perth early next month.
The WA Horticulture Update 2021, hosted by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and supported by Hort Innovation and Business Events Perth, will showcase the latest in business development and research innovations.
A complementary, bespoke tour will be held the following day, starting with a breakfast at the Perth Markets before visiting a bioenergy plant, black soldier fly research, a leading avocado property and the State’s largest nursery.
DPIRD horticulture and irrigated agriculture director Rohan Prince said the conference was a great opportunity for all those involved in the industry to get an insight into the rapidly changing global food production landscape.
“There are a range of major shifts occurring in food production around the world, driven by increasing consumer awareness and expectations, influencing the way food is produced to be considered safe, responsible and ethical,” he said.
“It is important all links in the supply chain are abreast of the changing operating environment so WA’s horticulture and irrigated agriculture industries can stay internationally competitive.
“The program also includes several of the State’s leading growers, who will share their experiences in adapting to the changing demands and operating environment.
“The conference offers a valuable opportunity for participants to take time out of their business schedules to open themselves up to the latest information and advice to address the challenges and opportunities facing our industry now and in the future.”
The Update will feature a range of topics that impact industry supply chains, while providing opportunities to address issues and challenges.
Respected global food analyst David ‘Dr Food’ Hughes will headline the conference virtually from the United Kingdom to share the latest global food trends, including the impact of the pandemic, social regulation and eco-sensitive consumers.
The day will proceed with a panel discussion on securing and sustaining the horticulture industry to ensure future food security for West Australians, capturing the diverse perspectives of growers, banking, science and technology.
The conference will run two concurrent session streams, one focussed on business and the other on innovation and technology.
The business stream will cover a practical guide to safe work practices, a discussion on collaborative business models and creating a heathy workplace.
The packaging session includes Coles sustainable resourcing manager Caitlyn Richards, who will discuss how the company is addressing sustainable packaging, as well as Australian Institute of Packaging executive director Nerida Kelton.
The afternoon agenda will address the State’s approach to labour solutions and the programs in place to support a stable and capable workforce.
The innovation and technology sessions will provide snapshots on production systems, such as protective cropping, use of data on farm through technology and protecting the supply chain.
The program will also feature an update on DPIRD’s research, spanning vegetables, fruit and crop protection, biosecurity and water management.
The combined afternoon program will feature industry lead for the Building Horticulture Business Capacity program Bryn Edwards and Planfarm consultant Paul Omodei on understanding opportunities to increase margins.
DPIRD’s WA 2021 Horticulture Update – sustainable and resilient: the future of WA horticulture, supported by Hort Innovation and Business Events Perth will be held on Thursday 4 November at Optus Stadium in Perth and the tour on Friday, 5 November 2021.
For a detailed program and to register click here.
Megan Broad/Katrina Bowers, media liaison
+61 (0)8 9368 3937