Australia: Bayer's Vegetable Seeds business takes centre stage at Hort Connections 2017
May. 31, 2017
Hort Connections 2017 was created from collaboration between two of Australia’s largest horticultural industry bodies, AUSVEG (industry representative body for Australian vegetable growers) and PMA Australia and Zealand (Produce Marketing Association).
The event brought together over 2,500 delegates from 15 different countries, more than 75 expert speakers and 150 trade show exhibitors, where Bayer took part. Bayer is an ongoing strategic partner of AUSVEG, and had a high profile presence at the event. In addition to exhibiting at the trade show, Bayer continued its long standing sponsorship of the annual AUSVEG Researcher of the Year award, which was presented at the convention gala dinner, and hosted a customer networking function which was attended by key industry stakeholders.
A broad range of key Nunhems varieties were on show at the Bayer stand, highlighting the enhanced reputation and recent growth in the vegetable seed business in Australia. Of particular importance, were the respective brand launches of Minigustos snacking cucumber and Solomerinda® heirloom tomato. The event provided the ideal opportunity to promote and expose both brands to key decision makers both upstream and downstream, along the Produce Chain. The diverse array of products on display also included coloured carrots, “Thinker” little gem lettuce, “Arendell” gourmet tomato, and “Krypton” leek.
“Overall, the feedback we received about our trade exhibit stand was extremely positive” said Damien Odgers, Account Manager – Produce Chain & Sales Cucumber. “The event provided us with the perfect opportunity to showcase some of our leading varieties and also demonstrate our breeding strength in these core cropping segments” he said.
The newly combined event was the first time in Australia that horticultural businesses from the entire Produce Chain have come together under the one roof. This opportunity was not lost on the Vegetable Seeds business, according to Mr Odgers.
“To have retailers exhibiting directly adjacent to us and other major marketing, wholesale and processing companies present, provided a fantastic opportunity for Bayer to further product development discussions and also network with new potential partners. Our country is really too small in market size to have separate industry events. I believe this new format is the start of bigger things to come. In a lot of ways, it’s our little version of Fruit Logistica” he explained.
Another pleasing aspect to the conference was the high level of attendance of key grower suppliers from across the vegetable industry. Jason Cooper, Account Manager – Carrot, Leek, Onion, explains.
“It was great to see such a broad range of major growers attend Hort Connections, particularly suppliers that I work closely with in Alliums and Carrots”.
He also highlighted the value gained from attending the event, for both Bayer and its customers, “You could see that the growers took real pride in seeing their produce on our trade stand”. “They obviously see true value in being there, otherwise they would not travel all that way to attend” Mr Cooper said.
Witnessing standout products such as coloured carrots on display has resonated with customers post-conference as well.
“I also have recently seen just how Bayer’s presence at Hort Connections has stimulated product development dialogue, both in Australia and New Zealand. Anything that ignites discussion amongst growers like Hort Connections, is well worth the company investment, in my opinion” Jason Cooper said.
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