News Article


   Tuesday 28th April, 2020

The East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days will go ahead in the first week of May with plans firmly in place to maximise all online engagement opportunities.

An agreement has also been reached with Victoria Police that will allow a very small number of growers to visit the site from Tuesday 5th to Thursday 7th of May.

In accordance with regulations and directives from Victoria Police and the Victorian Department of Health, permission has been granted to have up to 50 individuals present at any one time across the Maddies Paddock site, part of Bulmer Farms in the East Gippsland village of Lindenow.

Half day sessions are available, from 8am to 12pm and 1pm to 5pm. Physical attendance will be strictly by invitation and pre-registration only.

Complying with all existing social distancing regulations associated with COVID-19, a maximum of two representatives from any growing operation are permitted to register online to attend the site.

To enquire about booking a timeslot to attend EGVID2020, growers and industry representatives are asked to contact Bonnie Dawson, via email or by phone 0407 683 938.

The limited numbers on site approved by Victoria Police will be accounted for via a sign-in and sign-out procedure for every half day session.

No longer a “Field Day”, EGVID 2020 will focus on data capture and dissemination, as well as live streaming on EGVID’s social media channels and webinars.

A small video production crew will be gathering a wide range of footage and insights about the trials, an initiative made possible by Hort Innovation and a swag of industry sponsors, headed up by Zorvec Active from Corteva.

Trial sites like the East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days are an important learning and development exercise for the horticulture industry and the two-hectare plot has been six months in the making.

EGVID Growing Manager Daniel Hammond is happy that all the hard work by the Organising Committee and his support team from Bulmer Farms has been approved to be physically accessible to the industry in a small way.

“There’s a lot of planning and effort that goes into creating a trial site like this, so we’re certainly looking forward to being able to have a small number of growers visit us over the three days, together with the industry representatives “he said

EGVID Co-Director Stuart Grigg is encouraged by the feedback he’s already received about the creation of the EGVID 2020 video reference library.

“The industry has responded very positively to our video initiative, and AUSVEG is generously supporting us by hosting all the videos on their website – we’re confident that it will be a very useful resource to be able to refer back to, and for everyone to have access to whenever they want or need to in the future” he said.

Industry and local government support has adapted with the Organising Committee over the last two months, as conditions and the event structure moved through a series of changes since the beginning of COVID-19. It’s something that EGVID Co-Director Andrew Bulmer believes is a great testament to the resilience of the horticulture sector and the East Gippsland region in general.

“We’ve certainly had a pretty challenging start to 2020; on the back of drought and bushfires, the coronavirus has caused enormous upheaval on many levels “

“We are very grateful to have a group of sponsors who’ve been incredibly understanding and accommodating, helping us get to where we are now – with an activity that can still deliver some tangible benefit back to industry – we thank them for their ongoing support “ Mr Bulmer concluded.

With the limited number of people allowed on site, there will be several precautions in place to minimise any risk of COVID-19 transmission, including:

• Use of an online booking system to ensure that there is only a maximum of 50 people on-site at any one time which includes of all committee members, videographers, seed and agriculture chemical company representatives

• A simple and effective ‘hands-free’ sign-in and -out process

• Availability of hand-washing facilities and hand sanitising rub at easily accessible locations around the site.

• No marquees or internal/undercover areas will be available on-site.

There will be no registration facilities available on site, so all attendees must register online prior to arriving in Lindenow.

Timeslots are limited, so growers and industry representatives are urged to to contact Bonnie Dawson ASAP via email or by phone 0407 683 938.