THE effort to conduct a vegetable field day under COVID-19 restrictions while also providing an online virtual portal to the event was no mean feat for the East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days last year.
The fact was not lost on the judging panel at this year's Hort Connections Awards for Excellence either which awarded the event the Visy Industry Impact Award at Hort Connections 2021 earlier this month.
The East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days (EGVID) began on a small paddock in 2014 and has evolved to one of the Australian vegetable industry's major events in 2017 and 2020.
Despite the significant disruption to regional events last year, the event was held in May 2020 during the height of the pandemic and was a tremendous success.
Ausveg chief executive officer James Whiteside said the event's organisers were faced with either cancelling it or adapting after the pandemic hit.
"With much hard work, planning and communication with local and state authorities, they were able to pivot to a reduced capacity but ramped up digital format very quickly," Mr Whiteside said.
The Visy Industry Impact Award recognises an individual or business that has invested in creating or has implemented a system of technology or business practice outside of the industry norm that has resulted in a significant contribution to best farm practice or in cost savings through the value chain and is not in common usage by industry and will provide a commercial and competitive advantage.
"EGVID 2020 went virtual through some quick thinking, some very adaptable organisers and a brilliant team of social media experts and videographers.
"Facebook, Twitter, Instagram became the norm and a huge array of very high-class videos were produced and continue to be housed on the Ausveg website freely accessible to the broader industry.
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"This resource offers Australian vegetable growers a permanent gateway to industry R&D, new seedling varieties and new technology trials, setting the standard for all major field days to follow, in Victoria, interstate and around the world."
"The EGVID organising committee showed tremendous courage and adaptability to pull off such a successful event that will shape future events for years to come.
"The EGVID team has created a lasting impact on their industry and are well-deserved winners of the Visy industry Impact Award."
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