PRIMARY production, particularly vegetable production is said to be undervalued and lacking the recognition it deserves in Victoria and Australia, in general, according to industry professionals.
This fact, together with the close of the Werribee Field Days, was the driving factor that motivated Bulmer Farms and Stuart Grigg of Ag-Hort Consulting to deliver the East Gippsland Leafy Vegetable Innovation Day in 2014.
The inaugural event received tremendous support by growers and industry alike, followed with ongoing requests for a repeat performance of what they'd initially set in place.
This was the impetus that led to the expansion and improved format of the upcoming East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days (EGVID) event hosted at Lindenow, Victoria on May 3 and 4 .
Bulmer Farms managing director, Andrew Bulmer, said the Eastern Gippsland region is the most important salad production region in Australia.
“It makes sense that we have a local field days event to recognise the importance of our region for the Australian horticulture industry," he said.
Six of the top 10 salad-producing companies within Australia have a footprint in Eastern Gippsland, which are backed with Bairnsdale being the home to Vegco/One Harvest, Australia’s largest producer of bagged, ready-to-eat, washed salads.
“Many exciting things are happening in the Gippsland region. We have a fantastic growing window stretching over nine months of the year; we are well serviced with infrastructure and by local businesses,” Mr Bulmer said.
“We have great support from local government and interest groups such as the East Gippsland Food Cluster, that deliver real value, on the ground, where it counts for growers.”
Bulmer Farms has provided the land for the EGVID event and chose to move the site location to the heart of Lindenow for 2017 in the hope of encouraging involvement from the wider community. The event is expected to attract hundreds of visitors.
The Boomaroo Industry Networking Dinner will be held in Lindenow’s historic old hall on Wednesday evening, May 3, following the event's opening day.
Mr Bulmer said he believes the region is increasingly gaining the respect and recognition it deserves. He said the EGVID 2017, will be another feather in the cap of the journey.
ONE of the primary places for updated information about the East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days is Facebook.
The event has its own Facebook page which includes the latest updates, videos, video interviews and plenty of photographs of site as the trial plots have grown and flourished.
The page has also provided a means of promoting the event through social media networks.
To connect, visit: facebook.com/EastGippslandVegetableInnovationDays/
Cluster helps drive event
AN East Gippsland group has become one of the vital cogs in creating and promoting the upcoming national vegetable event in the region.
The East Gippsland Food Cluster’s industry development officer (for Gippland’s vegetable industry), Shayne Hyman, is also secretary of the East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days organising committee.
Ms Hyman said the vegetable capacity building project being delivered by the East Gippsland Food Cluster and funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) was playing a large role in the leading event because it targets growers from the locality, region, State and across Australia.
It also promotes learning and development based on best-in-class practices and R&D.
“I am excited to join with Boomaroo Nurseries, Bulmer Farms, Stuart Grigg Ag-Hort Consulting and all the members of the industry-based organising committee to incorporate this home grown event into the Australia-wide calendar of the National Vegetable Extension Network and shine the spotlight on the vegetable industry in Gippsland; it is well-deserved,” she said.
The day is designed to showcase new and innovative produce lines.