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The Cobnut

EO's round up


As you are aware the soil workshop planned for Saturday 13 February had to be cancelled due to the 5-day lockdown in Victoria. So that growers gain some value from this project, Darren Cribbes, as the project leader, has prepared two video sessions:
Part 1 – NECMA Soil Acidity/Erosion Project 
In 2020/21 Chestnuts Australia in conjunction with North East Catchment Management Authority (NECMA), conNEXUS global PTY LTD and Trevor Ranford undertook a soil project for nut growers – chestnuts, hazelnuts and walnuts.  Here is part one delivered by Darren Cribbes.

Part 2 – NECMA Soil Acidity/Erosion Project   
In 2020/21 Chestnuts Australia in conjunction with North East Catchment Management Authority (NECMA), conNEXUS global PTY LTD and Trevor Ranford undertook a soil project for nut growers – chestnuts, hazelnuts and walnuts. Here is part 2 delivered by Darren Cribbes.

Both videos are also available onto the HGA website in the Members Only section.


Harvest and grower activities

Hopefully harvest is going well for everybody and that the drier weather is helping to get clean nuts off the ground and into storage and the processing facilities.

HGA has commenced planning of some regional ‘HIT’ group meetings. As more details are available it will be forwarded to you, but we are planning for sessions in late April/early May as part of the AgriFutures Australia project. The acronym ‘HIT’ – stands for Hazelnut Information Technology. You can add that to your industry glossary.

Just a reminder that if you have not sent in your voluntary contribution form can you please do so as soon as practical.

Trevor M Ranford B.Sc., Dip MP (AIMSA), Adv Dip Hosp (Wine Marketing), AFIML
Executive/Communications Officer
Hazelnut Growers of Australia Inc
Mobile:  0417 809 172

Agriculture remains an ACCC priority in 2021

Supply chain relationships in the agriculture sector will remain a compliance and enforcement priority in 2021, ACCC Chair Rod Sims announced in his recent annual address to the Committee for Economic Development Australia (CEDA).

We will be promoting compliance with agriculture mandatory industry codes of conduct, including the Dairy Code of Conduct and the Horticulture Code of Conduct.

In our Perishable agricultural goods inquiry report, we also raised concerns about possible non-compliance with the Horticulture Code, and consequently will be conducting audits of traders.

One of the crucial product safety measures we will prioritise in 2021 is monitoring the government's mandatory safety standard for quad bikes.

Read more

Victoria seasonal labour update: sign-on bonus applications now open

Job seekers who have started in a seasonal harvest job on a Victorian horticulture farm since 17 February 2021 could be eligible to apply for their first $810 payment under the Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus. The application portal is now open.
The $2,430 bonus is paid in two instalments:
  • Bonus 1: $810, after 10 days’ work within a 30-day period
  • Bonus 2: $1,620, after an additional 30 days’ work within a 90-day period.
The new incentive – designed to attract local jobseekers to take up seasonal harvest work – is available to workers of all ages, including school leavers and students under 18.
In additional to the work requirements, to be eligible for the Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus, workers must also: 
  • have not worked on-farm in Victoria’s agriculture sectors (dairy, livestock, grains and horticulture) in the past three months
  • start a harvest job on or after 17 February 2021
  • have work rights in Australia
  • not be employed under the Pacific Labour Scheme or Seasonal Worker Programme.
Workers don’t need to apply for the bonus until completing their first 10 days of work. All they need to do in the meantime is keep evidence of their employment and work hours – such as payslips, timesheets or via Fair Work's Record My Hours app.
We encourage employers to read the program guidelines and ensure their workers are provided with a compliant payslip. Employers may also receive a phone call from Agriculture Victoria to verify applicants’ employment and the validity of timesheets or other supporting documents attached to an application.
Eligible industries and roles
The sign-on bonus is applicable to the following industries: fruit, dried fruit, vegetables, olives, nuts, wine grapes.

The sign-on bonus is focussed on supporting the industries most affected by workforce shortages and which urgently require the greatest number of workers to support their harvest. As such, nurseries, turf and cut flowers are not eligible industries for the sign-on bonus.
Eligible work includes activities associated with the picking, packing, harvesting and related activities of seasonal produce including pruning, cartmen, tractor drivers and sweepers.
It does not include post farmgate storage, further processing or distribution activities that occur post-production.
More information

Overseas news: Optical sorter boosts nut processors volume eight-fold

From Food Manufacture: The installation of its first optical sorting machine has boosted FrankenGeNuss’s nut sorting capacity eight-fold in one tenth of the time.

Equipment provider Bühler’s Sortex E1C sorter with BioVision technology was installed by the nut processor in October last year and has helped boost production and tackle shell contamination issues.

Previously it took a day to process 100kg of hazelnuts, now the company can sort 800kg in just 2.5 hours.

Read more

Opportunities and challenges for biosecurity as we look towards 2030

Head of Biosecurity at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Andrew Tongue spoke at the ABARES Outlook 2021 conference last week on opportunities and challenges for biosecurity as we look towards the agriculture sector’s ambitious target to achieve $100 billion in farm gate output by 2030.

“Our biosecurity system safeguards our country from the costly and disruptive impacts of devastating pest and disease risks,” Mr Tongue said.

“It also underpins access to overseas markets for our agricultural and food exporters, as part of our clean and green image."

Read more

Industry newsletters

Infopest News: From Growcom. View latest edition or subscribe.

Farm Biosecurity News: An e-newsletter from Animal Health Australia and Plant Health Australia. View latest edition or subscribe

Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand: March 2021 newsletter. View latest edition or subscribe.

Diary dates

9-12 March: PMA A-NZ 2021 Future Leaders in Produce Program - Geelong, VIC
23-25 March: Myrtle Rust National Symposium Ballina, NSW
22 April: Fresh Produce India - online
14-15 May: Riverina Field Days – Griffith, NSW 
20-22 May: Primex Sustainable Farming ExhibitionCasino, NSW 
27-28 May: National Farmers' Federation National Conference - Canberra
29 May-1 June: Food Expo - Athens (Greece) and online
7-9 June: Hort Connections – Brisbane, QLD 
21-22 June: AgraME conference - Dubai (UAE)
28-30 July: MIFB Hybrid Trade Fair 2021 - Kuala Lumpur
August: Fresh Produce Safety Conference
10-12 September: Trinut Conference
March 2022: ANIC Nut Conference
Copyright © 2021 Hazelnut Growers of Australia Inc., All rights reserved.

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