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New ‘HAL’ announced, Board includes apple orchardist

Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited has been announced as the new body that will replace Horticulture Australia Ltd (HAL) to undertake research, development and marketing to support Australia’s $9.5 billion horticulture industry.

In the statement from Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce, the new Board was also announced, which will include Victorian apple orchardist Susan Finger.

“We welcome the Minister’s announcement of the Board, its wide-ranging skills and particularly the inclusion of a well-respected apple orchardist,” said John Lawrenson, Chair of Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL). “I’d like to congratulate Susan on her appointment and we look forward to working with her and the new Board.”

Susan grows apples in the Yarra Valley as part of Vernview Pty Ltd and has a successful history in farmer and industry representation organisations. She is currently a Board member of the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) and the immediate past president of the VFF Horticulture Group.

“Susan is well placed to represent not only apple growers, but the broader industry thanks to her involvement in the VFF,” said John Dollisson, APAL CEO.

“She is fully across a range of important issues that affect horticultural producers and we have confidence that her particular set of skills and experience will serve apple orchardists and the broader industry very well.”

“The Minister has done a good job in forming a Board with a suitable mix of skills and members that will provide good continuity from the old HAL Board to the new Horticulture Innovation Australia Board,” Dollisson added.

APAL provides services to growers to improve orchard productivity and business profitability, as well as helping orchardists across other areas including export market development, communications, industry development and strategic planning.

“We’re looking forward to working with the new Board, continuing to provide high quality services to support apple and pear growers and support a sustainable and growing industry,” said Dollisson.

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