Note from Acting CEO1 April 2022
Three months in the acting role and I’m starting to find some rhythm.
This month has been all about the congress and assisting the team in organising the congress event. In between that I have submitted an industry election wish list to the department, attended (virtually) the National Traceability Summit, a debrief of the 2021 Almond bee death event with Vic department representatives, attended the Almond Board Pollination committee, Plant Health Australian (PHA) meetings, CRC for pollination bid meetings, AHBIC education sub-committee, and numerous comms project meetings.
Imported honey issue
As highlighted to DAWE in our issues paper imported honey is a big industry issue. We can’t stop genuine honey coming into Australia as we are free trade economy, and we can’t create unjustifiable barriers to trade like other countries can. But there are a few things we can do.
We are lobbying to create greater enforcement of the few rules we do have through increasing and targeting border testing, we are lobbying government to adopt and mandate more advanced testing procedures to identify adulteration, we are promoting 100% Australian honey through a consumer facing ‘home sweet home’ campaign, and we are testing and reporting any identified imported honey on the shelves that we find that fail the basic tests. In addition we have gained a seat at the ACCC AgCC table to push our agenda and we are partitioning to participate in the international honey standards committee.
National Traceability Summit
Organised by DAWE the summit discussed the challenges that lay ahead for Australian Ag competing on the world stage. The summit highlighted three main areas to tackle, data, regulation and value creation. Each of these topic areas had focus groups where participants worked in detail through the topics to develop some solutions. Focus areas under the three main topics included ownership, data interoperability, transparency, certification, incentivising and digital fitness. We will see more from the department in the future on traceability. This will be a big focus for export markets, further emphasising why B-QUAL is so important to our industry.
The congress organising is well under way. We have all our speakers confirmed with the program being updated constantly online. We have met our forecasted targets for early bird registration and we are exceeding our targets for sponsorship and trade exhibitor packages, congratulations to the organising team for the work so far. It is going to be a great 4 days!