NGIA NNN CEO Update 31 July 2018

Hi Everyone

Welcome to the July 2018 NNN newsletter.  I hope your preparations for Spring are progressing well with only one month of Winter to go.  My update for July will focus on progress with the Future Model for Our Industry, R&D and marketing levy investments and the New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated (NZPPI) conference.

NGI Network Future Mode:

The NGI Network Executives have agreed that the next phase in developing the business plan for the proposed Unity Model will be progressed as follows:

Step 1 – Engage consultant to do a round of meetings with the State Association Boards to clearly identify what needs to be included in the business plan – especially finance model, member benefits, regional representation, heritage and history of State Associations.

Step 2 – Business Plan development:

i.              What is required in the business plan and to be “tweaked” from the reviews based on the consultation in step 1?
ii.             Include the financial model – with a standardised fee base across the country.  Assessment, audit and cross examination of the model by an independent third party.
iii.            Scope out the change and transition process including a realistic timeframe.

This will be the final chance for you to have input into the structure and operation of your future industry association before the model is developed and progressed to a vote of members.  The process has taken longer than expected to ensure the issues and requirements of all the NGI Associations and Members have been addressed.

Levy Funded R&D and Marketing Programs:

The next meeting of the Nursery Industry Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) will take place on 7 and 8 August and will coincide with NGIQ’s Green Expo.  The aim of holding the meeting with Green Expo is to allow NGIA members and levy payers the opportunity to engage with the SIAP and Hort Innovation representatives to discuss all issues, projects and activities with respect to the levy funded R&D and marketing programs.

In the meeting, the SIAP will discuss and assess the proposed and active R&D and Marketing programs.  From an R&D perspective there are a number of projects about to commence and/or be contracted, including:

NY17002 – Review of nursery industry career pathways
NY17006 – Global review and gap analysis of nursery industry R&D
NY17008 – Nursery industry statistics 2016-17 to 2019-20
NY17009 – Improving pest management for the nursey industry

The active projects of biosecurity, communications, building biosecurity resilience and the review of diagnostic technologies will also be reviewed and discussed.  The SIAP will also receive an update on the Hort Innovation Frontier Fund Investment Programs with particular interest in the Leadership and Green Cities projects.

There will also be a session on the plans for the next phase of the 202020 Vision marketing program.  There will continue to be a focus on the key audiences of Government and industry and the Plant Life Balance campaign.

For more detail on the levy funded R&D and marketing programs please follow information and updates on the Your Levy at Work website, NGIA’s facebook and twitter and the 202020 Vision and Plant Life Balance websites.

NZPPI Conference:

At the end of June, I attend the New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated (NZPPI) at their invitation.  The aim of my attendance was to obtain an understanding of the NZ industry and how we may be able to work together on common issues. NZPPI has recently undergone their own structure reformation, transitioning from NGINZ to NZPPI, with the member base made up of production nurseries.  Retails nurseries are still involved with NZPPI.

I had the role of providing the summary of the conference and here are my key observations, findings and takeout messages:

The Economist – towards the end of the conference, Economist Cameron Bagrie, talked about nine themes of the NZ economy.  He painted as gloomy picture similar to the closing presentation of John Hewson at the NGIA conference in Adelaide.  My tip is to put the economist on first at a conference if at all.

The Customers – no matter what your business – wholesale, retail, allied products, botanical gardens – you need to understand your customers and your potential customers, so you can communicate with them properly to attract, engage and sell.

The Plants – there are environmental limits in plant production and to ensure these are addressed then key factors to consider are resilience, diversity, inclusiveness and sustainability.

The Science – representatives from Scion Research provided snippets of science to whet the plant producers appetites including: compostable and biodegradable pots, using genomics and tissue culture to reduce breeding generation times and that plants, the environment, biodiversity and biosecurity are all elements to address with respect to planet discussions.

Your Story – as with Matthew Evans at the NGIA conference, there was a presentation on “telling your story” to bring you success through your story telling.  Endeavour to engage in interesting discussion and talk about the provenance of your product. The key points in telling your story 1. Have a single concept; 2. Talk about something your “audience” cares about; 3. Make an emotional connection; and 4. If you are getting bored with your story then the audience might just be getting the message.

The Workforce – as with Australia, workforces challenges are a significant issue in the NZ nursery industry.  The key challenges in finding workers in NZ are job perception – outdoors, seasonality, competition from other industries, labour laws and workplace location.

The “Psychologist” – John Shackleton provided a presentation on “Raise your results – lower your stress” by providing advice on how to have “a healthy mind in a frantic world”.  Worry about the things in your control.  He advised to use meditation and mindfulness to calm the mind for optimum performance.

The Athlete – the conference dinner speaker was Joe Sullivan.  He won gold in the double scull at the London Olympics and then was on the NZ yacht that won the America’s Cup last year.  For those of you who know rowing, in the final at London, they were stroking 40 for most of the race and finished on 58.

The Website – More details and presentation from the conference can be found at: nzppi.org.nz/conference2018

Comments, Questions?:

As usual if you have any comments, questions or require further information or clarification on my activities or NGIA’s activities, please contact me at ceo@ngia.com.au

Kind regards

Peter Vaughan
CEO NGIA