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Industry excellence celebrated at APAL Awards 2019

The apple and pear industry celebrated the exceptional contribution made by industry leaders, growers, entrepreneurs, exporters and researchers with the presentation on Monday of its annual Awards for Excellence 2019.

Former APAL managing director and long-time Pink Woman champion Jon Durham, and West Australian orchardist Harvey Giblett, have been awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards for his or her outstanding passion for, dedication to and management of the apple and pear industry.

The awards have been introduced at an Award Breakfast previous the APAL Industry Forum in Melbourne.

Jason Shields, Orchard Manager for Goulburn Valley-based Plunkett Orchards, was named Grower of the Yr; WA orchardist and nurseryman John Hearman, Rising Star; and fellow WA Ladycroft orchard manager Bec Whittaker, recipient of the Ladies in Horticulture award.

Chris Georgopoulos, GV Unbiased Packers, was named Exporter of the Yr and newly-created awards for Researcher of the Yr and Progressive Marketer went to Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture researcher Nigel Swarts, and Andrew Smith, R&R Smith.

Congratulations to all the recipients, who led a really high calibre area of nominees, and a special because of everybody who made the trouble to appoint a colleague inside the industry.

Grower of the Yr: Jason Shields, Plunketts Orchards, Victoria

APAL chair Michele Allan (lt) and CEO Phil Turnbull (rt) with APAL 2019 Grower of the Yr Jason Shields, Plunketts Orchard (centre).

Jason has been the Orchard Manager at Plunketts since 2000 and in that time has developed a popularity for excellence, innovation and leadership, turning Plunketts into some of the progressive and profitable orchards in the country. Jason has been one of the leaders within the Future Orchards® program in the Goulburn Valley –  hosting the first orchard walk in 2006 – as well as the Group Orchard Group. His give attention to matching profitability to tree administration, his research and buy of harvest platforms in the direction of enhancing harvest administration, lead in built-in pest administration and his willingness to share and communicate his information, in addition to encourage his employees participation in growers’ events and improvement, are exemplary.

Lifetime Achiever: Jon Durham, Victoria

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Former APAL managing director Jon Durham’s (centre) large contribution to industry, facilitating research funding and the Pink Woman brand improvement was recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jon has made a formidable contribution to the apple and pear industry over his lifetime, driving investment in research, the event of the Pink Woman® brand internationally and industry improvement as head of both APAL and its predecessor, the Australian Apple and Pear Growers Assocation (AAPGA), till 2013. He is nonetheless lively in industry management by means of the Worldwide Pink Woman Alliance (IPLA) and in his position of unbiased Chair of the National Fruit Fly Council.

Jon guided the Pink Woman model from its infancy, establishing it as a world powerhouse model and the first apple to be protected by intellectual property rights. As head of AAPGA, he performed a key position in securing funding for research and improvement by helping set up Horticulture Australia Restricted (now Hort Innovation).

APAL’s present robust place owes a lot to Jon’s work in taking a unfastened association and constructing it into the robust and well-financed and professional body it is at present.

Lifetime Achiever: Harvey Giblett, Newton Orchards

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Western Australian orchardist and industry chief Harvey Giblett (centre) was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in appreciation of his work and contribution to the apple and pear industry.

Harvey has made an distinctive contribution to his industry and group over the past five. He’s a passionate and progressive fruit grower whose drive to succeed has reworked Newton Brothers, Manjimup, from a small family business to a medium-sized company enterprise with a robust fame for progressive fruit growing, storage, packing and advertising with integrity, and extensively recognized for applying the newest progressive applied sciences in manufacturing methods, cool storage, grading, and packing fruit.

Harvey has driven fixed revision and improvement of orchard methods and is all the time at the forefront of trialling and aiding improvement of latest applied sciences, together with pioneering the locally-developed Cripps Pink and ANABP 01 varieties (marketed at Pink Woman and Bravo® respectively). He has championed efforts to raise the standard standards of apples throught the current WA industry-led Apple Maturity undertaking for Gala, Granny Smith and Pink Woman apples.

Harvey has made a long-standing contribution to industry management via his roles on industry groups including the former Fruitwest, its Apple Management Group, the WA Apple & Pear Growers Association, Perth Market Authority Board, APAL and its predecessor AAPGA and as chairman of Pomewest.

Harvey is extremely well-respected for his experience, knowledge-base and altruism, his willingness to disseminate and share beneficial info – both among Newton Orchards group of growers, and among rivals inside the industry for the “greater good” of Western Australian pome fruit production, and its nationwide and international fame for premium quality.

Rising Star: John Hearman, Hearman Ag Orchard and Nursery, Western Australia

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Rising Star Award recipient John Hearman, HearmanAg, WA, is attracting numerous interest in his revolutionary work with young nursery timber.

John is a young grower who has demonstrated excellence and early leadership by means of his innovation at orchard degree and involvement in industry. John has taken on the lead position at the family-owned enterprise in Donnybrook and in recent times has diversified into rising his personal apple timber, establishing a nursery on the property, from which he has begun to provide other growers with high-quality apple timber.

John has carried out an revolutionary strategy, by rising bench-graft apple timber which could be transplanted without the shock that goes along with uplifting bare root timber. The establishment of these timber into new orchards or as fillers into current plantings at any time of the yr exhibits John’s progressive considering as timber are quick tracked and established much faster than naked root timber.

He’s innovating at orchard degree also, utilizing new planting methods and varieites beneath internet to supply top quality produce.

John’s dedication and keenness to the pome fruit industry is clear in his involvement with the family orchard and industry occasions. He’s all the time a eager supporter of Future Orchards and Pomewest events taking the time to attend and host orchard walks, sharing his experiences and rising methods.

Exporter of the Yr: Chris Georgopoulos, GV Unbiased Packers, Victoria

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Christian Georgopoulos (centre) accepted Chris’s award on his behalf .

Chris exhibits distinctive management in creating export markets via his commitment to long-term relationships with worldwide consumers and supplying premium fruit.

Chris, and his GVIP partners and employees, have labored onerous at creating relationships with consumers and understanding their international clients in the direction of attaining progress of their exports and ongoing success in the international market-place.  They’ve demonstrated dedication to their markets, regardless of fluctuations in domestic prices, continuing to provide one of the best product to build belief and respect as a long-term provider.

Chris locations a high emphasis on the thought of building belief in the security of the product, and utilizing Australia’s high health and safety standards as a marketable asset for Australian fruit. Integrated pest and illness management is given a excessive precedence to minimise chemical use.

Chris has also demonstrated excellence in industry leadership contributing to industry group and pear committees in addition to being a daily attendee at orchard walks and industry events.

Ladies in Horticulture: Bec Whittaker, Ladycroft Orchard, Manjimup

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Her ardour for fruit rising, progressive strategy and powerful dedication to employees variety and empowerment noticed Bec Whittaker, Ladycroft Orchard, WA, (centre), awarded the Ladies in Horticulture Award.

Bec manages the Ladycroft Orchard in Manjimup for the Casotti Group which is house to one of many largest plantings within the state of ANABP 01 (Bravo) apples. She has constructed a fame for passion and innovation in fruit rising and for championing and empowering her employees. She locations excessive emphasis on empowering her employees via offering larger individual duty, help and access to additional coaching. Her enthusiasm spreads throughout the orchard empowering her employees of primarily ladies to take on the challenges of manufacturing great apples.

Bec is a keen observer of international orchard administration developments and is fast to see new methods of growing that may be trialled at Ladycroft orchard. She has been a participant within the final two worldwide APAL research excursions (USA and Italy). This has given her the motivation and inspiration to make the modifications needed to maneuver into trendy two-dimensional intensive orchard.

She is a eager participant in many industry occasions and packages in WA and her ideas and help for industry tasks is all the time properly acquired and valued amongst her friends. All the time pleased to point out visitors around the orchard and share the learnings from her current orchard trials.

Bec exhibits so much enthusiasm and unimaginable capability to absorb concepts and apply on her orchard. The best way that she works together with her employees could be very right down to earth and collaborative. Empowering them, supporting their training, establishing regular workforce meetings and giving them possession of specific duties/blocks that provides them satisfaction in their work. It is an superior example of mentoring ladies in a horticulture business.

Revolutionary Advertising (new award): Andrew Smith, R&R Smith, Tasmania

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Tasmanian natural apple grower and cidermaker Andrew Smith (centre) was awarded the Revolutionary Marketer Award.

Andrew Smith has constructed an outstanding status for both organic apple manufacturing and the natural cider model Willie Smiths in the 20 years at the helm of the Tasmania family enterprise.

An early adopter, Andrew noticed the potential of natural manufacturing methods to offer a market edge in a challenging surroundings in the area and made the bold move to go natural in 1997 with the help of father and companion Ian. The enterprise now lays declare to being the most important natural apple grower within the nation, serving to retailers meet rapidly rising demand for natural produce. R&R Smith was the inaugural recipient of a $500,000 grant from the new Woolworths Organic Progress Fund, which is to be invested in commercialising a brand new apple variety. Andrew’s championship of natural production and his willingness to share information and help other growers has demonstrated the potential of the organic system to native industry, encouraging others to comply with suite.

He was additionally one of the first to recognise the potential of the rising reputation of cider, seeing it as a chance to add value and use apples that couldn’t be bought as recent product and creating Willie Smiths Natural Cider with co-ower Sam Reid.

Willie Smiths has gained a swag of national and international industry awards for its range of ciders

Researcher of the Yr: Nigel Swarts, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

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Researcher of the Yr Nigel Swarts, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, has contributed to the profitability and sustainability of growers by means of his work on Nitrogen.

Nigel has made a big contribution to the productiveness and sustainability of the apple and pear industry by means of his work in nitrogen and irrigation analysis in business apple orchards.

Nigel is passionate concerning the position of managing nitrogen use for attaining each fruit quality outcomes, improved profitability and environmental good points.

He is an articulate advocate for the industry, actively promoting the constructive outcomes of analysis together with demonstrated apple rising is likely one of the lowest GHG emitters on a yield basis of any agricultural industry.

Nigel’s research is resulting in a better understanding of complete orchard N price range and all the sources and sinks of N in the orchard setting helping to drive industry profitability and sustainability, and publishes leading analysis to characterise soil from 4 of the primary apple rising regions. He Supervises four honours, three masters, and a couple of PhD tasks in the apple industry

Nigel actively communicates analysis outcomes and inspiring uptake of outcomes on-farm by way of:

  • Analysis that is carried out on business orchards and quite a few website visits to reveal research
  • Actively encouraging growers to participate in subject trials and experimental design to get one of the best out of the analysis
  • Having regular conversations with growers and advisers/consultants throughout the nation to debate basic apple rising and
  • analysis findings
  • Collaborating in future orchards walk within the southern loop to increase analysis outcomes
  • Compiling at least 4 Australian fruit grower magazine articles and reality sheets for conferences/area days
  • Getting ready research studies for distribution by APAL and Hort Innovation.

He additionally contributes research that advances the status of Australian science internationally by:

  • Publishing three worldwide peer reviewed articles on work accomplished within the apple industry
  • Publishing four acta horticulture articles from ISHS conferences on research accomplished in apple orchards
  • Presenting findings at the current ISHS conference on mineral vitamin in Bolzano, Italy
  • Offering knowledge for presentation at the International Sap move conference, Soil Science Australia convention.