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New Board to guide Hort Innovation Australia’s continuing growth

The nation’s horticulture Research and Development Corporation welcomed new members to its Board today, November 25, as the organisation enters into its next phase of growth.

Paul Harker has more than 20 years of retail experience spanning store operations, supply chain, and buying and marketing, including four years heading up the fresh produce buying team of one of Australia’s largest retailers.

Jenny Margetts has worked in the horticultural industry for more than 25 years in a range of roles across the supply chain.

Selwyn Snell

Selwyn Snell, an industry leader with more than four decades’ experience in the agriculture, biotech and life sciences industries, was appointed a further term as Horticulture Innovation Australia Chair.

Northern NSW grower Mark Napper was re-elected Deputy Chair.

Mr Snell said he was honoured to be re-appointed to the position by the Board, and is keen to work with fellow Board members to continue to service the needs of the nation’s turf, nursery, fruit, vegetable, nut and cut flower growers.

“This is a really exciting time for the Australian horticulture industry. Growers have never been more innovative and there is so much technology coming online,” he said.

“Consumers are also becoming increasingly health conscious so the consumption of fruit, vegetables and nuts is in the spotlight like never before.

He said on top of that, Hort Innovation is working hard with growers to identify and tap into new trade markets, with a number opening up in recent years.

“At Horticulture Innovation Australia we are progressing in leaps and bounds. The organisation is in a great place, working closely with industry and top national and international researchers, companies and government agencies to get tangible results for nation’s growers.”

Mr Snell said Hort Innovation has close to 600 projects in the research and development pipeline, and it is in the process of delivering more than 100 marketing projects.

“Over the past year, Hort Innovation has driven a host of wins for industry including streamlined and strengthened health and safety audits to save growers time and money when accessing major supermarkets and key overseas trade markets.

“A dedicated Hort Innovation Centre for Robotics and Intelligent Systems has opened with world leading technology being developed to improve farm efficiencies, and commercialisation work underway.

“Last week with our partners, we also opened the world’s first sterile male Queensland fruit fly facility and we are on track to kerb the impact of the pest on Australian trade and food waste.

“We are also driving the organisation’s largest ever horticulture recruitment drive with a multi-million co-investment into new university courses, internships, scholarships and leadership programs.

Mr Snell said there is plenty more to come: “I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings and I look forward to working with growers, industry representative bodies and research partners to continue to see never-before-seen advancements in Australian horticulture.”

The Board is charged with jointly managing $120 million in research, development and marketing activities across the horticulture industry each year with funding from the Australian Government, grower levies and other sources.

Mr Snell welcomed the new Board members, saying it is made up of individuals who have a wide range of characteristics and valuable experience. The complete Board comprises:

Selwyn Snell (Chair)
Paul Harker
Mark Napper (Deputy Chair)
Stephen Lynch
Prof Rob Clark
Richard Hamley
Sue Finger
Jenny Margetts
Peter Wauchope

Mr Snell also welcomed the re-appointment of Professor Rob Clark and Peter Wauchope to the Board. He also thanked retiring former directors David Moon and David Cliffe for their hard work and commitment, wishing them the best of luck in their future endeavours.

For more information:
Kelly Vorst-Parkes 
Tel: 0447 304 255 
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