Jolyon Burnett to replace Fiona Simson as chairperson of the National Farmers’ Federation Horticulture Council
The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has announced the appointment of Jolyon Burnett as the next chair of the Horticulture Council.
The appointment follows an exhaustive search triggered by Fiona Simson, the inaugural Council chair, stepping down mid-year as her term as NFF President comes to a close.
Burnett brings a wealth of experience to the role, having held a range of executive and governance positions in a horticultural career spanning four decades.
“Having witnessed the sector suffer for a long time from not having a single strong and unified voice in Canberra, to then being involved in the formation of the Council less than five years ago, picking up the mantle now as chair is an exciting and motivating prospect,” Burnett said.
“The Council has come a long way with the support of its members and the NFF, but we all realise there is still further to go if it’s going to fulfil its true potential.”
Burnett said the Council had a number of priorities to address and was committed to making a difference for the industry.
“The Council is focused on securing a reliable, productive workforce, expanding our export opportunities, creating fairer and more efficient domestic markets, and ensuring biosecurity funding is sustainable and equitable for plant industries,” Burnett said.
“As chair I will hang my hat on whether we can make an appreciable difference in each of these focus areas for the growers putting food in our supermarket aisles every single day.”
Simson said now was the perfect time for a change in chair, with a mounting commitment from the NFF and its members to the Council, and a clear need to work more collaboratively and speak with one voice nationally on key issues impacting the industry.
“As the Council evolves, becoming more mature and independent, and as the horticulture industry continues its own path of growth and transformation, for the next chair there will be great opportunities, but also great challenges,” Simson said.
“Which is why I am very pleased the Council and national horticulture industry has found an excellent and accomplished chair and leader in Jolyon who will take them on the journey.”
Burnett will officially assume the position of chair on 1 July for an initial term of three years.