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Photo Report: Delegates gather in Shepparton for the Fruit Growers Victoria Conference

Around 300 delegates recently gathered in Shepparton, in regional Victoria, for the Fruit Growers Victoria (FGV) Conference, which included a number of presentations, a gala dinner and a packing shed tour.

"There is a mix of growers, service providers and industry stakeholders," Chairman Mitch McNab said. "We were lucky enough to have a number of speakers from around Australia and around the world come and present - that was pretty interesting. A key message is that there is a lot of technology out there for growers and it is pretty challenging times out there in the industry at the moment, and we need to look at that technology and growers introduce some of it to their businesses and find a way forward utilising that technology. We have been trying to have a conference for the past two years, but with COVID it's a bit difficult."

To view the photo report, click here.

Mr McNabb also manages McNab Orchards, and as a grower, he says while there are challenges there is also optimism for the future.

"There are a lot of people who have been generational farmers, like me, we have been in the industry a fair time and there have always been some tough times here and there," he said. "That's just an unfortunate part of this business but there is always a way forward, and for us, it is just a matter of working out how that can happen."

Fruit Growers Victoria is a membership-based organisation for apple and pear producers around the state, with over 300 members. The aim is information sharing and providing extension/grant programs for members. The conference was held in Shepparton, with the region one of the leading fruit-growing areas in Australia.

"It's massive to the region, the apple and pear industry is one of the biggest employers in the area," Mr McNab said. "It has a huge economic impact as well, in terms of a lot of employment, given a lot of production comes out of this area. That is something the Goulburn Valley needs to keep promoting and moving forward."

Delegates wrapped up the conference with a tour of Plunkett Orchards, and the new packing shed in the final stages of rebuilding.

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