Registrations are now open for the annual mid-year conference and expo of Australia’s booming horticultural sector in Brisbane.
Last year’s event brought together a huge number of delegates - nearly 2,500 local and international members of the horticultural supply chain from across Australia and 15-plus other nations– and 148 supply-chain exhibitors on the Trade Expo floor. The conference component included 80 speaker sessions, panel discussions and research presentations. Hort Connections 2018 is set to be bigger and better, says AUSVEG, which co-hosts the conference with the Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ).
They will be supported by various horticulture industry bodies including Australian Organic, Onions Australia, the Australian Horticultural Exporters' and Importers' Association, Growcom, Apple and Pear Australia Limited (returning for 2018) and additional co-hosts to be announced over coming months.
The upcoming Hort Connections will build on the success of previous events, with world-class speakers, a large Trade Expo sponsored by Fresh Markets Australia in partnership with the Central Markets Association of Australia, and opportunities throughout the three-day event to network, make connections and negotiate deals.
Already, strong enquiry from new exhibitors indicates that Hort Connections 2018 will be larger still.
It’s a great opportunity for industry members to congregate, network with others from all parts of the horticulture supply chain, learn about the latest developments in the industry across Australia and around the world, over three informative and sociable days of speaker sessions, research presentations, panel discussions and constructive mingling.
“Hort Connections 2017 was the first event of its kind to bring together such a broad spectrum of the Australian and New Zealand horticulture industry under the one roof. The feedback was that it was the most worthwhile event in recent memory for our industry, so we are very excited to bring it to Brisbane in June 2018 for what is set to be the most comprehensive horticultural event in the country,” says AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside,
“Growers and whole-of-supply-chain members are encouraged to take advantage of the significant earlybird savings that are available to attend Hort Connections 2018 while they last.”
PMA A-NZ CEO Darren Keating stresses that the upcoming Hort Connections will have something to interest everyone, from growers to processors, shippers, marketers, distributors, exporters and retailers.
“Last year’s speaker sessions offered content that was relevant to every sector of the supply chain – and this year’s event will be no different. These sessions will run in conjunction with the Trade Show, where delegates will be able to visit more exhibitors showcasing the industry’s latest innovations and service offerings under the one roof than anywhere else in the fresh produce and horticulture industry,” Keating says.
“The event will also include a range of networking events that will ensure Hort Connections is once again the most influential event for networking, education and business for the entire Australasian fresh produce industry.”
Combining what was previously the National Horticulture Convention and PMA Fresh Connections, Hort Connections attracts more fruit, flower and vegie growers, service providers, supply-chain members and government stakeholders than any other event on the Australian horticulture calendar.
Listen to AUSVEG's interim CEO Simon Bolles talk about the industry's challenges and opportunities at 2016's National Horticulture Convention:
The main attractions
Hort Connections 2018 will build on the success of last year's event, with a long, strong line-up of speakers, an extensive list of Trade Show exhibitors, and networking opportunities at every turn.
The three-day program is a mix of social and networking events, field trips and retail tours, panel discussions, seminars and plenary sessions covering everything from global innovations to marketing to women in horticulture.
Billed by the organisers as “the fresh produce industry event of the year”, the Hort Connections Trade Show is a showcase for the latest innovations in the sector. Its 2,250 square feet of floor space will house the stands of hundreds of exhibitors from the fresh fruit, vegetable and floral value chains.
Here, producers, processors, suppliers and service providers will be on hand throughout the event to demonstrate, and discuss the merits of their offerings to 2,000-plus likely attendees.
The Trade Show is where everyone, from small-time growers to industry leaders, comes to rub shoulders with fellow delegates and to view, talk and perhaps purchase – cutting-edge products and services.
Don’t miss the event’s many opportunities for informal networking: the welcome cocktail reception for delegates, speakers and exhibitors on the evening of Day 1, followed by various special events following the conference Day 2, and the Hort Connections Gala Dinner on the final night.
2017 Hort Connections hosts
AUSVEG is the leading body for Australia’s horticultural industry, representing the nation’s 9,000-odd vegetable and potato growers.
PMA A-NZ is an affiliate of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA Global), the world’s leading fresh-produce trade association. PMA Global serves every segment of the fresh fruit, vegetable and floral supply chain, with member companies across the globe.
Australian Organic owns Australian Certified Organic, the nation’s largest and most prominent organic certification brand. It is also the largest certifier of organic and biodynamic produce in the country. Australian Organic’s 1,950 clients account for around 80 percent of all certified organic products sold in Australia.
Onions Australia is the industry body representing the nation’s 380-odd onion growers.
Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL) is the leading industry body for Australia's pome-fruit growers.
The Australian Horticultural Exporters' and Importers' Association (AHEA) is a national association formed to promote the development of the export and import of fresh horticultural resources.
Growcom is the peak representative body for Queensland horticulture producers.