Backed overwhelmingly by industry, the Potato Growers Association of Western Australia (PGAWA) is moving forward to establish an export entity.
The PGAWA conducted an extensive consultation process with 70 grower members before they selected a not for profit service provider model for the new export entity.
Growers have also agreed to commit further significant funds directly to the project, leveraging existing grant funds being used in the development phase.
As part of the due diligence for the initiative, a delegation of industry representatives recently travelled to Canberra and Sydney to meet with government officials and other potential partners. The trip opening up discussions about market access issues and market opportunities.
Simon Moltoni, chief executive of PGAWA, said move would be crucial to the success of the industry.
“It is critical to the long-term success of the new entity that we have working relationships with a range of key partners in government and industry,” Moltoni said.
“Through this planning phase, the PGAWA is narrowing down a list of priority markets for future exports.”
The PGAWA has now established a sub-committee to oversee the development of the export entity, appointing grower Glen Ryan as spokesperson.
“Moving forward, it is crucial for the PGAWA and industry to maintain a high level of communication about all aspects of the entity, which the sub-committee can support,” Ryan said.
The next round of regional grower meetings will be commencing in October to discuss the next steps in the development of the entity and membership details.
As part of a separately funded project, an industry delegation will also be travelling to Egypt in November, to investigate market opportunities and further develop key relationships in-market.