Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) – Australia’s horticulture research and development corporation – has underlined its focus on building the country’s export trade with the appointment of a dedicated trade and export general manager.
Michael Rogers, who most recently drove the establishment of the Agribusiness Forum at the Australian Food and Grocery Council, steps into the newly created role on 25 July.
“It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of Michael Rogers, a professional with extensive experience across a variety of key trade-related agricultural activities,” said HIA chief executive John Lloyd.
Born in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, and raised in the Burdekin region, North Queensland, Rogers has a strong affinity with rural and regional Australia, and has been the recipient of a number of industry awards for his contribution to the agricultural industry, according to a HIA media release.
Most recently, Rogers led the formation of the Agribusiness Forum at the Australian Food and Grocery Council where he worked to improve international trade arrangements for processed food, developing strategies and seeking opportunities to improve export systems and policies.
In previous roles, Rogers has been involved in a variety of international negotiating forums as part of his role on Australian government trade delegations.
“Rogers’ experience and leadership capability is instrumental in the development and implementation of Hort Innovation’s trade and export strategy. It will allow us to further align the needs of the nation’s growers with the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources,” Lloyd said.
HIA has recently undertaken a number of other trade activities. It has facilitated the promotion of Australia’s fruit, nuts and vegetables at Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong in addition to trade shows in China and Dubai as well as bringing together industry bodies and growers to showcase Australian export processes and produce to Chinese trade officials.
On the market access front, HIA has worked with the citrus industry and Australian government to open up the South Korean market for blood oranges as well as assisting the stonefruit industry to deliver research and development projects to support nectarines access to China.
Elsewhere, HIA has signed research agreements with Indian government agencies to enhance relationships.
It has also established a Trade Assessments Panel and an Industry Trade Advisory Panel, tasked with prioritising products for market access, but HIA added that many more initiatives were in the pipeline.