NT Farmers has resumed its membership of AUSVEG, with the national vegetable industry representative body eager to work with growers in the Northern Territory to capitalise on the industry’s massive potential for growth.
Michael Quach, one of the territory’s mango, tomato and cucumber growers, is NT Farmers’ nominated representative for the AUSVEG Board as a result of the resumption of NT Farmers’ AUSVEG membership, which will ensure the Northern Territory’s vegetable industry is well-represented on issues of national importance. Mr Quach is a recognised leader of the industry, including being a former finalist for the 2015 ABC Rural Biosecurity Farmer of the Year for his efforts in managing the Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus outbreak in the Northern Territory in 2014 and 2015.
AUSVEG Chair Geoff Moar welcomed the decision by NT Farmers, saying his recent visit to the Top End had shown him the potential for growth in the region’s industry and the hardships faced by its growers despite these opportunities.
“The Northern Territory is becoming an increasingly important sector in the national agriculture industry, with its horticulture growers contributing a great deal to this growth,” said Mr Moar.
“AUSVEG has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with NT Farmers, in particular with its Board and with newly appointed CEO Greg Owens, who is a popular figure in the vegetable industry and a longtime, influential contributor on many vegetable industry advisory panels.
“This decision by NT Farmers will ensure the Northern Territory’s vegetable industry is well-represented on issues of national importance and I am looking forward to working with NT Farmers President Simon Smith, CEO Greg Owens and newly appointed AUSVEG Director Michael Quach to ensure their growers’ thoughts and concerns receive strong national representation, on top of the excellent work performed on their behalf by NT Farmers.”
NT Farmers President Simon Smith also welcomed the renewed commitment for the Australian vegetable industry, saying the decision to resume its membership of AUSVEG was made at the right time to ensure its growers can capitalise on a tremendous potential growth of vegetable production.
“Horticultural production in our region is booming, with the Northern Territory’s proximity to Asia and the increasing demand from its emerging middle classes for high quality produce also providing a potentially lucrative market for our growers beyond our shores,” said Mr Smith.
“We recently had the AUSVEG Chair, Deputy Chair and CEO visit some of our leading producers to understand the difficulties that growers from the Northern Territory are facing. It became clear that our growers face significant challenges due to the extreme climate and isolation, but that there are many similarities to those facing growers all around the country.
“AUSVEG has a long history of effective representation for Australian vegetable and potato growers and we are excited to rejoin as a member to ensure we benefit from this high-quality national representation.”