APAL responds to Horticulture Australia review

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APAL responds to Horticulture Australia review

Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL) has responded positively to the recommendations of a recent review of Horticulture Australia Ltd (HAL), saying that the changes could benefit fruit growers. manzanas_83829601

APAL Chairman John Lawrenson said he generally agreed with the proposed changes to legislation and the horticultural levy, which growers contribute toward marketing, and research and development investment.

"Our primary concern with the review of HAL was to ensure better results for fruit growers. Most of the recommendations are consistent with our own regarding HAL improving project management and cutting costs," Lawrenson said in a release.

"APAL would like this to translate into a reduced bureaucracy and simplified processes to ensure that more of the levies growers pay are directed into projects designed to help growers rather than administration and overheads."

HAL will now work together with its 43 members, including APAL, to fully assess the various recommendations of the independent review which was conducted by ACIL Allen. APAL claims it is an important member of HAL, with apples and pears constituting the largest fruit industry in the country.

"Whatever change is agreed with HAL – we need to build on what HAL has done well and phase-in any changes over time. Research and development investment has to be driven by demand and results, with significant input from growers," Lawrenson added.

"We need to look very carefully at how some recommendations could be implemented. For instance, the recommendations include grower ownership of HAL and the abolition of Industry Advisory Committees. In any such move it will be critical that HAL consults widely and effectively with industry to ensure that growers’ research, development and extension needs are met."

APAL has praised HAL's constructive work it has done for the industry since its start in 2001, but it emphasizes that there is still much more room for improvement.

The government is now seeking HAL's response to the recommendations, after it has conferred with its members.

Related story: Horticulture Australia needs overhaul, independent study finds

Photo: www.shutterstock.com





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