THE year 2000 saw a major shake-up to horticultural research, development and marketing with the emergence of Horticulture Australia.
An article from the June 2000 edition of Good Fruit & Vegetables outlines the federal government's moves to amalgamate the Australian Horticultural Corporation and the Horticultural Research and Development Corporation.
It would become the precursor to Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL), and subsequently, Hort Innovation.
According to then Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Judith Troeth, the new corporation would help horticultural industries achieve their full potential in overseas markets by working closely with all levels of government and industry sectors.
Ms Troeth said the key function of the new company was to deliver world class marketing and R&D services to the horticulture industry, under a purchaser-provider model of service delivery.
"The Government's agreement to establish Horticulture Australia... is in response to the horticultural industry's request to move to a corporations law company for service delivery," she said.
"The industry itself has shown maturity and leadership in this regard, following an extensive process of industry consultation and policy development over two years.
"The recommendations were developed by the industry-led Horticultural Industry Alliance Steering Committee, independently chaired by Denis Byrne, which presented its final report to me in 1999."
A negotiation team was announced to help guide its formation, made up of:
- Neil Eagle, president, Australian Citrus Growers Inc
- Silvio Favero, chairman, Australian Vegetable and Potato Growers Federation;
- Jon Durham, chief executive officer Australian Apple and Pear Growers Association;
- Bob Granger, general manager, Qld Fruit and Vegetable Growers;
- James McGeoch, chairman, Horticulture Research and Development Corporation;
- Bob Seldon, chairman, Australian Horticultural Corporation;
- Julle Austin, Senator Troeth's office;
- Simon Hearn, portfolio policy and international division, Agriculture Food & Forestry - Australia (AFFA);
- Mike Macnamara, Horticulture and Wine Branch, AFFA
- Dr Brian Johnston, Horticulture Task Force, AFFA.
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