AFTER a year's hiatus due to COVID-related issues, Australia's largest horticulture event is locked in for June this year.
Hort Connections will take place at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from June 7 to 9, bringing together a broad array of those involved in the horticulture industry.
The event will be run under the theme of "sustaining the future of fresh", bringing together thousands of attendees from the local and international horticulture supply chain to discuss on-farm and supply chain practices, review consumer behaviour and consumption trends, and focus on the future of sustainable fresh food production.
Organisers are expecting more than 3500 delegates at the 2020 conference, which is being supported by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, as a state sponsor of the event.
Research and development corporation, Hort Innovation, has signed on as a major sponsor, alongside Ausveg and Produce Marketing Association Australia - New Zealand as the key backers.
Hort Connections 2021 will celebrate 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables and will attract members from all sectors of the horticulture industry including growers, supply chain members, government stakeholders and industry service providers, to recognise the significant contributions towards the health and national economy.
Ausveg chief executive officer, James Whiteside said Hort Innovation served a critical role in improving the productivity, profitability, and competitiveness of the broader industry and that its continued involvement in Hort Connections was important in bringing people together.
"Hort Innovation invests grower levy funds in projects that have proven to improve the productivity and profitability of the industry," Mr Whiteside said.
"It works closely with industry bodies and growers to ensure it continues to invest levy funds in meaningful projects that deliver a return on investment."
"Hort Innovation's continued support of Hort Connections is another example of a worthwhile investment, as the event brings people together to learn the latest research and innovations in the sector, including those funded by Hort Innovation, which will undoubtedly help improve growing and business practices across the industry."
Produce Marketing Association Australia - New Zealand CEO Darren Keating said the partnership between Hort Connections and Hort Innovation was a win-win for event delegates and the research and development corporation as the event provided the perfect platform to demonstrate the significant projects and campaigns that Hort Innovation funds on behalf of industry.
"Its presence at the trade show and throughout the speaker sessions continue to be informative and engaging and demonstrates the breadth of work that the company undertakes on behalf of the industry's hard-working growers," Mr Keating said.
Hort Innovation CEO Matt Brand said the organisation's support for Hort Connections was a key component in its strategy to connect the outcomes of its research, marketing and trade programs with growers and update the industry on the wide range of investments it makes in consultation with industry and on behalf of growers around the country.
"Now more than ever, in the face of local and global uncertainty it is important for the broader industry to take the opportunity to meet with friends and colleagues from across the sector," Mr Brand said.
"It's an opportunity to learn about the latest technologies and innovations taking place in the sector and strengthen their business and support networks."
"The industry is eager to meet up and reconnect with each other face-to-face.
"Hort Connections 2021 will be a chance to reflect on what the industry has achieved in the face of unprecedented challenges and what growers can achieve through new technologies and innovations to help grow the value of the industry."
Sign up here to Good Fruit and Vegetables weekly newsletter for all the latest horticulture news each Thursday...