New chairman for Australian Table Grape Association -

New chairman for Australian Table Grape Association

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New chairman for Australian Table Grape Association

Long-time industry advocate and Sunraysia table grape grower John Argiro, has been elected as Chairman of the Australian Table Grape Association (ATGA) board. 

ATGA's new chairman John Argiro

Argiro previously served as ATGA deputy chair from January 2013 to December 2016 and before that was an executive delegate on the board from January 2008 to December 2012. He is also currently president of the Sunraysia Table Grape Association, and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to the role.

"It is an exciting time for the industry and I believe in the next five years we’ll see significant development and redevelopment with new plantings, the likes of what we are now seeing in the Sunraysia region and in places like Alice Springs,” Argiro said in a release.

“In recent years the industry has seen an increase in exports to Japan, South Korea and China,” he said.

The new chairman said these had been instrumental in increasing Australia’s market share.

“In 2011 the industry exported 30,000 tonnes of grapes, worth (AUD)$80 million. In 2017 the industry exported 110,0000 tonnes, worth (AUD)$377 million. That’s an increase of over three hundred percent,” Argiro said.

Argiro believed the recent announcement of changes to the China protocol will in effect open new export markets in northern China.

“ATGA is predicting an increase of 20,000 tonnes to China in the next two to three years. This has the potential to be worth an extra AUD$100 million to the industry. Add that to the AUD$377 million the industry is already worth, we’re looking at close to half a billion dollars’ worth of exports,” Argiro said.

“I’ve been in the industry for over thirty years now and in that time, I’ve seen enormous growth and change, but this really is a game changer.

“I truly believe our table grapes are the best in the world. I want the industry to continue to be successful and grow, and I believe together we can achieve this."

Argiro also highlighted several priorities for the table grape industry.

“I’m keen to keep championing new market access opportunities, the implementation of standardised maturity testing and making sure us older growers are doing all we can to ensure as an industry, we’ve got a succession plan in place," he said.

I’m keen to see growers come together as a collective and collaborate with Hort Innovation to seek and determine better outcomes for our industry”, said Mr Argiro.

Argiro was also quick to acknowledge the past work of outgoing chairman Richard Lommon.

“I need to thank Richard for all the outstanding work he has done in serving the industry and our interests over the last five years," he said.

“I’d also like to welcome and congratulate those that are new to the board and those that were re-elected. I look forward to working with them all.”

ATGA Board (Representation)

Chairman – John Argiro (Victoria -returning)
Deputy Chairman – Jeremy Boyd (Victoria – returning)
Executive Delegates Vince Dimasi (Victoria – returning) and Richard Lommon (Northern Territory -returning) 
David Agg (South Australia- returning) 
Joe Gareffa (New South Wales – returning) 
Mark Leng – (Queensland- newly elected)
Rocky Mammone – (Victorian – newly elected)
Barry Pederson (New South Wales – returning) 
David Smith (Victoria – returning)
TBC (Western Australia)

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