Hort Connections conference 2018


Trade Show | Negotiating for Success | Variety Showcase | 2019 and beyond


Hort Connections attracted almost 3,000 delegates to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre over the three-day conference, with nearly 150 apple and pear industry members in attendance from Sunday, 17 June through to Wednesday, 20 June.

The Sunday night social event, sponsored by Woolworths, was a great way to start the conference and provided an opportunity for attendees to catch up with colleagues and friends they may not have seen since the last combined industry conference in 2016.

To build on the momentum of Sunday night and set the scene for the APAL sessions, the apple and pear industry Awards for Excellence were announced during breakfast on the opening day. The awards are an opportunity to recognise the achievements of some of the incredible people in our industry. View photos of the APAL sessions here.

After the awards, Speed Updating, APAL’s annual event offering quick information updates about what’s happening in the local and international development space, was held.

Trade Show

The APAL booth became a hub of activity not just as a meeting point for apple and pear industry members but also as a great place for business to be done.

Each of the varieties and value-added products from the Variety Showcase were on display in the Trade Show to ensure greater exposure to the wider Hort Connections participants.

Negotiating for Success

Preparation is key to any negotiation session however, there are other elements that can be taken into consideration when looking to reach an agreement. Participants in this session received an insight into their negotiation style using the dominance, influence, conscientiousness and steadiness (DISC) method, which can help understand both your needs and those of the people you’re negotiating with.

If you’re interested in taking the DISC test visit: www.123test.com/disc-personality-test/

Variety showcase

The Variety Showcase is an opportunity for participants to see, touch and taste new varieties of apples and pears recently –or soon to be –commercially available in Australia. Representatives from nurseries, variety licensees and businesses offering value-added products participated in the event.

Australian Pome Fruit Improvement Program (APFIP) Operations Manager Mark Hankin said it had been a great way to share new, key varieties in the pipe line.

“Industry is fast heading in the direction of managed varieties, so growers need to be active in knowing and understanding what’s out there,” said Mark.

“The Variety Showcase, now in its fourth year, is a great way to form alliances and get the conversation started between variety licensees and growers to help understand the opportunities involved in growing a managed variety.

“Feedback from attendants shows the showcase is successful; it’s become one of the main highlights of the conference and many of the variety licensees continue to be involved every year. This year we extended the invitation to include businesses offering value-added products to helping identify alternative markets for fruit that doesn’t quite make the first-grade cut.”

The Variety Showcase is a deliverable in the Hort Innovation funded APFIP project and is an opportunity for growers to get exposure to new products in the pipeline. Growers can also meet and form alliances with licensees and they can see the fruit coming into the market.

The session was first introduced to apple and pear industry members in 2013 at the Innovate or Real-Estate conference at QT Hotel, Gold Coast. It was also offered at the National Horticulture Convention in both 2015 and 2016.

View a playlist of Variety Showcase interviews below:

Thank you to all businesses who participated in the Variety Showcase.

View photos from the showcase.



2019 and beyond

Hort Connections 2019 will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 24-26 June. APAL will again co-host the event to build on the benefit of combined industry networking and learning.

We would love to know what information you’d like to hear about and who you would like to see at this event, whether from the apple and pear, broader horticultural, or international industries. To share your ideas or to discuss opportunities in 2019 contact APAL Manager Events & Sponsorship, Richelle Zealley, at rzealley@apal.org.au or 04 3836 4728.

By |August 21st, 2018|News|

About the Author:

APAL is an industry representative body and not-for-profit membership organisation that supports Australia’s commercial apple and pear growers.