Growers across 21 horticultural industries have united under the ‘Voice of Horticulture’ to represent and build support and understanding of Australia’s $50 billion horticulture industry.

“Voice of Horticulture represents horticultural growers and businesses across fruit, nuts, turf, nursery plants and cut flowers, who work every day to feed and sustain us,” says Tania Chapman, Chair, Voice of Horticulture.

Horticulture is the biggest employer of all the agricultural industries in Australia – employing a third of all agricultural workers – and is the third biggest by value ($10 billion at the farm gate and over $50 billion at retail). In 2013/14 the value of horticulture exports achieved a record high of $1.5 billion.

One of the driving forces to establish Voice of Horticulture was the formation of the new research and development corporation for horticulture – Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd (HIA). HIA is a grower-owned entity and needs a strong industry voice to guide it.

The Voice will also make it easier for these key stakeholders to communicate with growers, rather than meet with numerous grower groups individually, because there are many common issues and opportunities across the sector.

While growers will be invited to become members of HIA, HIA does not have an advocacy role, and will not represent the political interests of Australia’s 30,000 horticultural producers – the backbone of Australia’s rural and regional communities. This will be the role of the Voice of Horticulture.

“We are such a diverse sector across dozens of commodities that are comprised of primarily small- to medium-sized businesses – the driving force of our economy,” says Tania.

“Coming together under the Voice of Horticulture allows growers to more readily be heard and represented to help government and policy makers better understand our issues and interests to guide their decisions. One point of contact – Voice of Horticulture – will build much stronger relationships.”

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