The first six months in the acting CEO role was dominated by the congress and keeping AHBIC operating in business as usual. Since signing on as the CEO of AHBIC in early July, my role has been dominated by Varroa mite and the incursion in Newcastle. For the last 2 or so months I have done nothing but Varroa mite and have become an honorary citizen of NSW as I have spent significantly more time in NSW than at home. Despite the amount of time I have spent assisting in the incursion I have managed to attend some other meetings to keep AHBIC moving forward.
The 4th Australian Congress was delivered with great success. I would like to thank the extraordinary team of volunteers that work relentlessly to achieve the event. The obstacles like COVID and the reluctance of people wanting to travel made the congress organising challenging, but the team rose to the challenge and pulled off a successful event. Thank you.
The AgriFutures funded communications project has now been completed with the delivery of the new website and newsletter platform and the development of media tools for AHBIC. The project has revamped AHBIC and provided the organisation with a suite of tools to use enabling better communication with industry.
Australian Beekeeper Award
The national beekeeper award program was an initiative of the communication project. The award recognises up and coming industry leaders and provide personal development opportunities to the state recipients. I participated in the finalist’s workshop in Brisbane on the 19th-20th May. This workshop was inspiring for me to listen to the passion the finalists had for our industry and provided a lot of comfort the next crop of industry leaders will take the industry to the next level.
Honey that has been sourced from Western Australian retail shelves has been tested by AHBIC and identified to be adulterated. A complaint was subsequently lodged with the relevant authority, in this case Queensland health department and the ACCC. Queensland health have taken up the complaint and conducted surveillance on the suspected importer to determine the extent of the operations. Additional samples from Western Australia have been sourced via authorised officers and testing is being conducted. The slow wheels of the ACCC have started to turn and an additional investigation is being conducted.
AgriFutures Levied Industry Forum
Stephen and I attended the AgriFutures levied forum in Sydney on 21st June to discuss and priorities industry/AgriFutures issues. This was attended by all the levied industries under AgriFutures. This day demonstrated the many cross sectorial issues that the industries have in common. Discussions around how the industries could work more closely together and how the relationships between AgriFutures and the levied industries could be further strengthened were also discussed.