Today was the first full trade show day at Hort Connection 2022 and, alongside the many stands, there was also a variety of speakers in the main hall. The trade show was very well attended, especially in the morning.
The general feeling was that everybody was happy to be back, meeting old and new clients. Machinery companies have seen increased demand due to the labor shortage, and data logging companies said demand has really picked up because of the challenges in the shipping industry. Data loggers are now a must for exporters.
Greg Calvert from FreshChain Systems was the first speaker up and asked 'how valuable is your farm data, and how do you leverage that with customers?' Justine Coates from the Fruit and Vegetable Consortium spoke about shifting the dial on vegetable consumption - a multi-billion $ priority to fuel Australia's COVID-19 recovery. Other speakers in the morning session were Andrew Jones - BDO Australia and Gilad Sadan - N.A.V.I. Co Global.
Darren Keating - International Fresh Produce Association with the finalists for the UPL Tech and Innovation award.
At tomorrow's Gala Ball, the winners of the awards from Hort Connection 2022 will be announced, and today some of the finalists had the chance to present their products to the audience.
In the afternoon session, Peter Creaser - Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment - spoke about focussing on biosecurity and assisting the growth of Australia's agricultural industry. Hon. Mark Furner, MP - Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, spoke about the new 10-year strategic plan for the Queensland fresh produce sector. Other speakers were Sachin Ayachit - Growcom (Fair Farms), Dean Parsons - CHEP, and Robert Watkins - Evolution.
Tomorrow there will be another full day of trade show and speaker sessions, with the gala ball in the evening to round off the event.