NGIA CEO update – 26 April 2017

Hi Everyone

On 20 April I completed two years as CEO of NGIA.  It has been a very interesting, mostly enjoyable and at times challenging two years, endeavouring to ensure that NGIA delivers the best value and benefits for your membership of the NGI Network, and providing oversight to the investment of your R&D and Marketing levy.

The NGIA Board met on Thursday 30 March and the key items of business discussed and progressed were:

NGI Network Structure Review– NGIA and the State NGI Associations are close to finalising the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Structural Change Advisory Committee (SCAC).  A reminder that the role of the SCAC is to:

Investigate and report on the finances, systems, technology, governance, functions and roles of the proposed National Unity structure; independently and unbiasedly inform the Members of all relevant information; and seek the endorsement of the NGI Network to facilitate a vote of the Members on a proposed new structure of the Network.

Following a vote and dependent on the outcome, the SCAC shall facilitate the successful transition to the agreed new structure or provide recommendations to the Network on how to proceed.  A definitive time line and dates need to be finalised once the committee is in place.  As with the role of the Structure Review Committee last year, we will keep you advised of all developments and activities with the SCAC so you are award of what is going on.

NGI Member Benefits– I have encountered the perennial questions from nursery industry participants on a number of occasions recently:

What do I get for my membership?; What do I get for my levy?; and What’s in it for me?

I will then provide details on what we do, and hopefully an understanding that the key activities undertaken by NGIA include biosecurity, marketing, communications, advocacy/lobbying, industrial relations, business development and training, extension, career development, accreditation programs and networking.

The question on levy is a clear indication that members believe that NGIA must have some direct management of how the levy is invested. The change in role of NGIA, with the transition of HAL to HIA, is in oversighting, influencing and providing input into the investment of the levy but not managing the process.  Therefore we have less direct say in “What you get for your levy?”

Nursery Production Farm Management System (FMS)–– NGIA has finalised all continuing participants in the Nursery Production FMS Programs – NIASA, EcoHort, BioSecure HACCP.  We are now in the process of determining the marketing, promotion, auditing and other administrative activities for the remainder of 2017.

For more information on the Nursery Production FMS program as a continuing business or a business looking to become involved please refer to the website: www.nurseryproductionfms.com.au

NGIA Relationship with Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA)– The Nursery Industry Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) met on 3 and 4 April 2017.  The key items of business progressed were:

·      The Nursery Industry Strategic Investment Plan (SIP)
·      Review of the R&D portfolio and proposed projects
·      Update on the 202020 Vision Program

The five outcomes from the SIP for the period 2017 to 2021 are:

1.     Demand and sales of green life products to increase by 4% per annum;
2.     Industry knowledge increased to enhance marketing and business decisions;
3.     Australian nursery industry assets protected from exotic, emerging and endemic pests and disease;
4.     Improved productivity, profitability and professionalism through innovation; and
5.     Better career development

Focus on Biosecurity:

The third outcome identified for the SIP is important in the context of this NNN e-newsletter with a focus on nursery industry biosecurity.  Protecting the “assets” (your businesses) from exotic, emerging and endemic pests and diseases is a vital role that we must play for your membership and levy investment.

There are currently two key R&D levy projects that are being conducted to help achieve this outcome:

1.    NY15002: Building the resilience and on-farm biosecurity capacity of the Australian production nursery industry
–       John McDonald and I sit on steering committee for this project.

2.    NY15004: National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program
–       NGIA manage this program with John McDonald as the NGIA National Biosecurity Manager.

There are four components to the Biosecurity Program which are:

1.     Industry Biosecurity Preparedness– allows the nursery industry to respond to plant pest incursions facilitated through the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD).  (A fact sheet on the EPPRD is included with this newsletter.)
2.     Industry Biosecurity Awareness– to enhance awareness around biosecurity issues for the industry through communication and training activities.
3.     Minor Use Pesticide Program– provides the mechanism to nominate and obtain permission to use pesticides that would not be available otherwise.
4.     BioSecure HACCP as a Market Access System– to provide participants with a national market access system.

(The May 2017 Nursery Paper will provide more details on the program.)

A Current Incursion- NGIA through John and I, NGIWA through Carole Fudge and Matt Lunn and other NGI network staff have been involved in managing the nursery industry interests in Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP) incursion in WA.  Our aim is to ensure that the industry interests are represented and to ensure businesses can trade as close to normal as possible. Our involvement in this incursion is an example of our contribution to biosecurity preparedness and over the last three years there have been an average of 40 incursions requiring the NGI network input and involvement.

NGIA Conference 2018– Planning for the NGIA Conference to be held in Tasmania in 2018 has commenced with the first meeting of the Conference Committee conducted. The date for the Conference is the week commencing 19 February 2018.  Please put this in your diary.  We will keep you advised of details with the organisation of the conference.

As usual please contact me ceo@ngia.com.auif you have any questions, comments or concerns on the operation of NGIA and any feedback on this edition of the NNN email.

Kind regards

Peter Vaughan
NGIA CEO