News Article


   Thursday 9th May, 2019

For Gippsland to be rich in quality food & fibre produce, it is also rich in talented people, and three of the horticulture industry’s finest were recognised for their hard work and commitment to the sector at the AUSVEG VIC Awards held recently in Melbourne.

Jeremy Haw from Hussey & Co in Newry was awarded AusVeg Vic Grower of the Year.

Carmel Ingram from Bonaccord Ingram was presented with the Women in Horticulture Award.

And Michael Evans, Farm Manager at Mulgowie Farming Co in Boisdale took out the Environmental and Sustainability Award.

Food & Fibre Gippsland Co-Deputy Chair Andrew Bulmer, who attended the event with Interim CEO Dr Nicola Watts and Vegetable Industry Development Officer Shayne Hyman, believes the awards went to some very deserving recipients.

“I am absolutely delighted to see these three Gippslanders receive recognition and reward for their hard work and for the innovative practices they continue to champion in their businesses” he said.

“Our horticulture industry is a significant contributor to the region’s seven-billion-dollar food and fibre sector, and with leaders of the calibre of Jeremy, Carmel and Michael, the sky is the limit for continuous improvement and ongoing growth “said Mr. Bulmer.

Bonnacord Ingram is one of Victoria’s largest growing operations, and for the past 40 years, Carmel Ingram has worked alongside her husband Keith and managed the pack house operations, as well as raise three kids and be a significant contributor to her local community.

Carmel was truly touched to receive the Women in Horticulture award.

“I never thought by just doing my job, I was helping a little in shaping people so that they can continue in their chosen careers”

“I not only accept this award for myself…I want a shout out to the other women who’ve helped shape our business - to Joy, Pam and Kerry…I think we keep the boys honest! “she said.

Hussey & Co MD Jeremy Haw is widely regarded by his peers to be running one of the most consistent salad operations in the country, and is a market leader in exporting to South East Asia. He was humble in his acceptance of the title of Grower of the Year.

“When you look at the finalists, there are some very smart operators on the list, so I am very pleased to have been the judging panel’s winning choice “he said.

Michael Evans was the worthy winner of the Environment and Sustainability Award, recognition for the long term benefits he has created via an integrated crop management approach since becoming the Farm Operations manager for Mulgowie’s in 2015.

This has seen the implementation of better crop rotations and careful planning for site selections of crops based on soil management and variety selection.

Michael has successfully made these changes whilst maintaining yield standards and quality on the farm, as well as decreasing direct farm costs every year since joining the business.

Interim CEO, Dr Nicola Watts is pleased to see Gippsland growers leading the way with the innovative practices and collaboration, and she says as the peak industry body, Food & Fibre Gippsland is committed to supporting producers and processes to grow and thrive.

“We are constantly sourcing and sharing global agrifood insights to build the concept pool for projects that will add value to the sector and the region, whilst also delivering benefit to people, profit, prosperity and ultimately creating a positive impact on the planet “she said.