NGIA CEO update – 28 March 2018

Hi Everyone

Welcome to the March 2018 edition of the NNN e-newsletter.  The most important activity in March was the NGIA Board meeting held in Melbourne last week to coincide with MIFGS and to host a delegation of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) – refer separate article.  The key items of business at the Board meeting:

The Future Model for the NGI Network– NGIA is now working with the NGI network to progress to the future model for the NGI network.  The review process has been completed and the NGI Future Structure Committee and the Structural Change Advisory Committee reports support the future model of “unity” through a single organisation.

There is some “fine tuning” of member services and benefits, governance, finances, resources, ‘heritage’ assets and administration to be completed and agreed across the network.  The next meeting of the NGIA Board and State Presidents and Executives is to be held on 15 May to work through these aspects of the future model.

Joint NGIA and AIPH Board Session– a joint session of the two Boards was conducted to discuss issues of interested between the two organisations.  The parallels of issues between Australia and internationally is very close with common concerns around labour, cost of production, demand for greenlife, plant breeder’s rights, quarantine and biosecurity (more so in Australia).  NGIA will continue to work closely with AIPH to ensure we capture any of the thoughts, ideas and solutions to address the issues.

NGI Member Communication and Engagement– This is a constant challenge, not only for NGIA, but for all member organisations.  The information provided needs to be interesting, easy to understand and relevant. There are many different methods we use to communicate – email, website, social media, printed media, meetings, events, video conferencing, telephone, etc, but it is often difficult to use, and which one works best for members.  We also need to highlight why we do something and what’s in it for you as the member or industry stakeholder.

NGIA Strategy 2016 – 2020– The Board discussed the status of the strategy and concluded we don’t need to make changes to it at the moment.  It will be reassessed when the future model for the NGI network is in place and before 2020 when the current strategy is due to finish.

Horticulture Innovation Australia– We continue to work closely with Hort Innovation on the portfolio of R&D and Marketing projects.

The key R&D Projects being:

NY15001: Evaluation of Nursery Tree Stock Balance Parameters
NY15002: Building the resilience and on-farm biosecurity capacity of the Australian production nursery industry
NY15004: National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program
NY15006: Communication program for the Australian Nursery Industry 2015-2018; and
NY15009: NGIA – Communication Support for NY15006 – Nursery Industry Communications
NY16004: Nursery Industry Statistics and Research 2016/17

For the Marketing Program the key activities planned for the next period of operation are:

202020 Vision:

·      Continue to work with the network of green space experts and partner organisations
·      Understand how the landscape has changed – in terms of influencers, policy and communications – and what the key opportunities are now
·      Continue a media presence for 202020 Vision
·       Assess the review of the program and set the strategy for the next five years beyond 2020

Plant Life Balance (PLB):

·      Introducing a new ambassador
·      Partnering with new media/content outlets
·      Developing new plant looks – four have been release in late March to complement the seven from Spring
·      Running a series of physical PLB activations at industry events
·       Engaging schools with PLB How to Green Your School Guide resources
·       Working with Bunnings to have them engaged

Downloads of the PLB app are now in excess of 41,000.

ABARES Conference

I attended the recent Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) conference and during the Leading Rural Transformation Session, detail was provided on “The way we organise ourselves to achieve our goals” and “crafting an organisation to achieve new outcomes”.  The presenter went further to say that there needs to be “innovation” by Industry Service Bodies to:

i.        Help members “accelerate” what they do.
ii.        Do what cannot be done easily by an individual.
iii.        Help shape the direction of industry to make them more successful.
iv.        Orchestrate change for the industry to make it better.
v.        Make and save money for members.

The following table was presented to provide suggestions of how an Industry Representative Body should be aligned to its functions in the 21st century:

21st Century Industry Associations




Structure Institutions Networks
Focus Problems Solutions
Scale Large Variable
Influence Governments Markets, Community, Governments, Value Chains
World View Single Issue Multi Issue
Governance Dispersed Strategic
Communication Slow, Filtered Immediate, Direct
Funding Anger, Defence Investment, Value

These details were provided and discussed by the NGIA Board and will be taken into consideration was we work toward the future model for the NGI network.

As usual, please contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or concerns on the operation of NGIA and this edition of the NNN email.  I hope you have a safe and enjoyable Easter.

Kind regards
Peter Vaughan