Australian prune industry receives funding boost

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 8th January 2018

Australia’s prune industry has been given a funding boost, receiving a cut of the Federal Government’s $5 million leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund.

The Australian Prune Industry Association (APIA) has been awarded AUD $159, 000 from the fund, all of which will be invested into people and culture.

APIA Chairman, Grant Delves, said industry leaders recently met with Horticulture Innovation to form a new strategic plan for the Australian prune industry. From the meeting, three key areas were identified as areas that could help reinvigorate the industry.

“With limited resources, APIA chose to focus on the first two areas – R&D and promotions,” Delves said.

“The new funding allows us to invest in the third outcome of building skills, capacity and knowledge.”

Investment in industry leadership a must

Mr Delves said it was key industry leaders receive training.

“By developing their leadership capability and capacity APIA executives will be more effective in their role, helping drive leadership and improve communication throughout the industry.”

APIA also hopes to use the funding to invest in young growers after one of the industry’s youngest growers, Ann Furner, successfully attended the International Prune Association Congress in South Africa in 2010.

Furner is now a strong advocate for visiting prune farms across the world for educational purposes.

“My husband, Anthony and I have 18 hectares of prunes and we are currently investing in new technology that I heard about while attending the 2015 IPA Congress in Italy,” Furner said.

“I believe investing in young growers gives them the confidence to participate actively in their industry.

Funding will lastly be used to bring world-class guest speakers to address the industry at APIA’s annual conference

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