The Northern Territory’s (NT) grower association NT Farmers has rejoined Ausveg, the national peak industry body for vegeatble growers, after 12 months with lobby group the Voice of Horticulture.
In the July/August NT Farmers newsletter, president Simon Smith wrote that NT Farmers could no longer justify the annual A$10,000 investment in the Voice of horticulture, and that Ausveg could provide a range of services that its members could tap in to.
NT Farmers nominated mango, tomato and cucumber grower Michael Quach as the NT representative on the Ausveg Board to ensure the NT vegetable industry is represented at a national level.
Smith said the decision to resume membership of Ausveg came at a time when the territory is looking at massive potential growth in its horticulture industry.
“Horticultural production in our region is booming, with the Northern Territory’s proximity to Asia and the increasing demand from its emerging middle classes for high quality produce also providing a potentially lucrative market for our growers beyond our shores,” Smith said in a statement released 22 September.
“We recently had the Ausveg chair, deputy chair and CEO visit some of our leading producers to understand the difficulties that growers from the Northern Territory are facing. It became clear that our growers face significant challenges due to the extreme climate and isolation, but that there are many similarities to those facing growers all around the country.”
Ausveg chair Geoff Moar also welcomed the move, which he said will ensure that NT growers’ concerns receive national representation.
“The Northern Territory is becoming an increasingly important sector in the national agriculture industry, with its horticulture growers contributing a great deal to this growth,” Moar said.
“Ausveg has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with NT Farmers, in particular with its Board and with newly appointed CEO Greg Owens, who is a popular figure in the vegetable industry and a longtime, influential contributor on many vegetable industry advisory panels.”