Hort Connections 2018

Thank you to everyone who participated in the APAL sessions at Hort Connections 2018, check out our overview of events and pictures on flickr.

APAL is pleased to announce it has joined the team of co-hosts for Hort Connections 2018 – the national, combined industry conference, to be held 18-20 June in Brisbane.

There are many invaluable opportunities that come with attending face-to-face events, such as a conference. At APAL, we know that people working in our industry are busy but we also know that a conference is a great way to grow your own career – or those of your employees – while bringing a social aspect to your learning and development. Remember, you are an expert in your field and giving yourself opportunities to develop expertise and knowledge is vital for the growth of your business.

Being connected with like-minded people who are active in horticulture can promote excitement and enthusiasm about the future of our industry. It’s also a great way to have fun with your peers; network with local and international professionals; learn about things you may not even be aware of; and expand your thinking.


18-20 June Brisbane Convention Centre


APAL’s involvement in the 2016 National Horticulture Convention was successful, with more than 200 attendees from the apple and pear industry.

APAL CEO Phil Turnbull invites apple and pear growers to #HortCon18.

Feedback showed that 84 per cent of APAL delegates ranked apple and pear industry activities as very good to excellent, with 98 per cent saying they would attend a similar event in the future and 80 per cent showing a preference for the combined industry format.

“To ensure the best possible experience and value for money for apple and pear industry members, we have created an additional special program prior to the official Hort Connections event, on Monday, 18 June,” says APAL CEO Phil Turnbull.

“To kick off the event, I would like to invite you to attend an informal dinner, Sunday, 17 June followed by a day of activities and presentations on Monday, 18 June.”

Delegates who register for Hort Connections receive complimentary access to these additional sessions, those who only wish to attend the APAL sessions can purchase their ticket on the APAL website.

“Whilst we are optimistic about the long-term future, our industry is facing some significant commercial challenges. Our ability to keep abreast of international best practice growing and creating additional markets for our fruit is key to our future success. I strongly encourage growers to attend this conference,” says Phil.

“I know that people who work in our industry are busy, but this is a great opportunity to step away from the business and help grow yourselves. You never know what you might learn or take away from a conference such as this, from both the local and international guest presenters and through networking with your peers.

“I look forward to seeing you in Brisbane.”

APAL program

An additional program has been created for apple and pear industry members to ensure you receive the best possible experience and value from attending the conference. Apple and pear delegates are invited to an informal dinner, Sunday, 17 June followed by a day of industry-focused activities and presentations on Monday, 18 June.  These sessions will precede the official Hort Connections welcome reception at 6pm on the Monday.

*Please note: delegates who purchase a ticket to Hort Connections 2018 will receive complimentary access to the APAL events on Sunday and Monday. Delegates only attending APAL activities are required to register online and pay $110 (incl GST) to participate.

Location: Plaza Terrace Room, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Cnr Merivale and Glenelg Streets, South Brisbane.

Sunday, 17 June 6pm-9pm APAL dinner; Southbank Social, 30AA Stanley Plaza, South Brisbane
*this is an open-air venue and may become a little cool so please bring a jacket depending on the weather.
Monday, 18 June 7am-8am Breakfast and Awards for Excellence
8am-3:30pm Speed Updating
During lunch Variety Showcase and Interactive session
3:30pm-5pm Negotiating for success
6pm-9pm #HortCon18 welcome reception
 Tuesday, 19 June 7am-8am Breakfast session
8am-11am Plenary sessions
11am-6pm Trade Show, incorporating the Pome Zone
2pm-4:30pm Concurrent sessions APAL/AUSVEG/PMA 
 Wednesday, 20 June 7am-8am Breakfast session
8am-10:30am Concurrent sessions
8am-12:30pm Global innovations
10:30am-3:30pm Trade show, incorporating the Pome Zone
1:30pm-4:30pm Diversity; Women in Horticulture; networking event
1:30pm-4:30pm APAL panel session
4:30pm-7pm No activities scheduled
7pm Pre-dinner drinks
7:30pm-11pm Hort Connections Gala Dinner

APAL-organised activities
Hort Connections-organised activities

Special features

Speed Updating

Speed Updating is back for 2018 and will offer short snippets of information presented by researchers and other industry leaders to keep levy payers up to date about what’s happening in the world of apples and pears.

For more information or to present during Speed Updating, contact APAL Technical Manager Angus Crawford, acrawford@apal.org.au.

Visit our speaker page to see who’s presenting.

Negotiating for success

To align with our strategic goal of supporting continuous improvement for Australia’s apple and pear growing businesses, this session is an opportunity to extend our focus from the orchard and the product to other business practices.

Everyone working in a business contributes to the profitability of their organisation, there is an opportunity for APAL to engage with growers and people in non-production roles to better support them and increase adoption of beneficial business practices. This session looks at negotiation styles and the challenges often associated with negotiating. Participants will learn how they can start using a four-step process for use in a range of practical situations – whether they are simply negotiating to advantage (potentially short-term only benefit), or negotiating a mutually beneficial (and therefore sustainable) outcome or trying to influence others. Having a structured approach and required skill set, could be the difference between success and failure.

Meet the presenters Paul Tribe and Jackie Smith.

Variety Showcase

Now in its fourth year, the Variety Showcase is an opportunity for orchardists and industry members to see some of Australia’s best new and emerging apple and pear varieties.

For more information or to add your variety to the showcase, contact Mark Hankin mark@apfip.com.au or Richelle Zealley rzealley@apal.org.au.

Social events

Apple and pear industry delegates are invited to attend an informal dinner, Sunday, 17 June, to catch up with colleagues and start the conference festivities.

Time: 6-9pm

Location: Southbeach Social
30AA Stanley Plaza, South Brisbane

Trade Show information

Registration for the 2018 Trade Show is now available – download the Exhibitor Registration Brochure to secure a booth as they’re selling fast.

Pome Zone

The Pome Zone will be a dedicated meeting space within the Trade Show for apple and pear delegates. Value added products and innovations from around the world will be featured and there will be plenty of opportunities to meet with and hear from researchers, industry professionals and more.

To share your value added products with industry contact Richelle Zealley rzealley@apal.org.au.

APAL panel session

Apple and pear industry members at Hort Connections can join an interactive panel session to discuss the industry’s adoption of new technologies to improve yield, efficiency and profitability.

Read more.


All apple and pear industry members who purchase a ticket to Hort Connections automatically receive access to the additional APAL activities on Sunday, 17 June and Monday, 18 June prior to the official conference launch.

Purchase tickets – APAL sessions
  • One price: $110

Tickets are available to purchase online.

Purchase tickets – HortCon
  • APAL member rate: $845
  • Non-member rate: $905
  • Tuesday day pass: $400
  • Wednesday day pass: $550

Tickets can be purchased on the Hort Connections website.

Awards for Excellence

Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination for the APAL Awards for Excellence. Apple and pear industry award winners will be announced during the breakfast on Monday, 18 June. A shortlist of nominees will be nominated for the combined industry awards, announced at the Gala Dinner, Wednesday, 20 June.

More information

For more information about Hort Connections 2018 or the APAL specific program contact APAL Communications and Events Officer Richelle Zealley on rzealley@apal.org.au or 0438 364 728.

The Hort Connections website provides a wealth of information about the conference, accommodation and ticketing options, please visit www.hortconnections.com.au for more information.

Conference disclaimer

The program for Hort Connections including all additional and supplementary speakers and events under the apple and pear program were correct at the time of publication. However, Apple and Pear Australia Ltd reserves the right to change dates, the program and speakers without notice as a result of circumstances beyond its control.

Click here to view the Terms and Conditions for the competition to win one of three return flights and All Access Passes from 15 April 2018 until 11 May 2018.


By |February 8th, 2018|Conference|

About the Author:

APAL is an industry representative body and non-profit membership organisation that supports Australia’s commercial apple and pear growers.