Two new Directors joined the Hort Innovation Board as the grower-owned Rural Research and Development Corporation gears up for its next phase of growth.
At the organization’s virtual Annual General Meeting, voting members elected Catherine Oates and Robert Mullins and re-elected Julie Bird to the Hort Innovation Board. The newly constituted Board then voted that Julie Bird would remain Chair, and Paul Harker would remain in the Deputy Chair position.
Ms. Bird welcomed the new Directors and said the Board changes come at an exciting time for the industry. “Horticulture is the fastest-growing agricultural sector in Australia, with a 27% hike in value over the past five years to $15.1 billion, with our modelling showing that that figure could double by 2030,” Ms. Bird said. “There is a wealth of research, development, marketing, extension, and trade activities that will underpin that growth and we are working with industry and delivery partners to deliver meaningful outcomes that serve horticulture now, and for decades to come.”
Ms. Bird said Ms. Oates is well equipped for the position, as she is an experienced Non-Executive Director with 20 years of international senior management experience in the wine sector. “Catherine has a strong understanding of agri-business, effective stakeholder engagement, RD&E, global marketing, market access, and sustainability, and will prove a real asset.”
Ms. Bird said Mr. Mullins brings with him a broad range of experience, having held senior technical and commercial leadership positions, and boasting a strong history of industry commitment. “Bob was raised on a farm and has enjoyed an international career in businesses that create value through plant-based technology in Agriculture, particularly in high-value horticulture,” she said.
Ms. Bird said the Board looks forward to working with the Hort Innovation staff and the nation’s dedicated fruit, vegetable, nut, nursery, turf, and cut flower growers to ensure the profitability, productivity, and sustainability of the sector for years to come.
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