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Insights from the APAL Industry Forum 2024

News

The Australian apple and pear industry gathered at the highly anticipated APAL Industry Forum held on 3 June 2024, at ZINC at Federation Square in Melbourne.

The event served as a platform for industry professionals to connect, exchange knowledge, and delve into critical discussions about the future of the industry. With a line-up of esteemed speakers and engaging panel discussions, the Forum offered valuable insights and actionable strategies for industry stakeholders.

Renowned demographer Simon Kuestenmacher of The Demographics Group opened the presentations, armed with the latest data to analyse the Australian consumer market and scope out demand for the apple and pear industry. During his presentation, Simon discussed the shifting demographics and changing eating habits that will influence the demand for apples and pears in the coming years. He highlighted that Gen Z, now entering their prime consumption years, will drive new trends in fruit consumption with a focus on sustainability and health benefits.

Simon Kuestenmacher, Director and Co-founder of The Demographics Group

Josie Zilm from NAB Agribusiness followed with her insights on the agribusiness sector. Josie presented the latest market trends and economic factors affecting the industry. Her session provided attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the financial landscape, enabling them to make informed decisions and optimize their business strategies.

Josie Zilm from NAB Agribusiness

Sarah De Bruin, a horticulture consultant at AgFirst, delivered an informative presentation on The Orchard Business Analysis Project. Drawing upon her extensive experience, Sarah shed light on the vital role of cost awareness in grower success. Through case studies and data-driven insights, she provided actionable strategies for maximising returns and ensuring quality fruit production in a dynamic market environment.

Sarah De Bruin, a horticulture consultant at AgFirst

Sue Finger, Ross Wilson and Sarah De Bruin participated in a panel discussion on “Future Planning: Short Term Strategies for Long Term Gains.” They explored consolidation strategies, productivity enhancements, and offered valuable perspectives on making strategic decisions for sustainable orchard business growth.

Sue Finger, Ross Wilson and Sarah De Bruin participated in a panel discussion

Steve Burdette, Executive Officer at Approved Employers of Australia, addressed the pressing issue of labour mobility in his presentation on “Making Labour Work For You.” Steve’s expertise in seasonal worker programs provided attendees with updates on policy changes and strategies for optimizing labour in horticulture production. He emphasized the importance of adapting to new regulations and leveraging available resources to meet labour demands.

Steve Burdette, Executive Officer at Approved Employers of Australia

Justin Smith from APAL and Nardia Stacy from Pomewest discussed the significance of quality assurance in the session “Quality is King.” They highlighted the importance of industry collaboration and performance monitoring in ensuring consistent fruit quality. Nardia shared successful initiatives from Western Australia, showcasing how quality programs can drive industry standards and improve market competitiveness.

Justin Smith from APAL and Nardia Stacy from Pomewest

Stuart Gregor, Co-founder, Trade Director, and Chief Ambassador of Four Pillars Gin, shared his entrepreneurial journey in “The Four Pillars Story.” Stuart’s narrative highlighted the challenges, successes, and business strategies that propelled Four Pillars Gin to global recognition. His story provided invaluable lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs, emphasising the importance of innovation and perseverance.

Stuart Gregor, Co-founder, Trade Director, and Chief Ambassador of Four Pillars Gin

Neil Rechlin and Anthony Grant from NextGen Group led a sales and negotiation presentation and workshop. They unpacked how retailers negotiate with suppliers and offered practical advice on preparing for negotiations and improving negotiation positions. They also discussed the powerful elements of the Grocery Code that can rebalance discussions with retail buyers.

Neil Rechlin and Anthony Grant from NextGen Group

The 2024 APAL Industry Forum was a successful event that brought together industry professionals, fostered connections, and provided valuable knowledge and insights to drive the industry forward. Attendees left the Forum equipped with new strategies and tools to navigate the ever-evolving apple and pear industry landscape. We look forward to seeing you at the next one!

Keep an eye out for the Winter 2024 edition of AFG for in-depth articles about the APAL Industry Forum presentations.

 

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