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Tasmania appoints first vegetable facilitator

The Minister for Primary Industries and Water Bryan Green, and the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) has appointed Tasmania’s first vegetable industry facilitator.

Economist and former executive officer of the Australian Macadamia Society and policy manager with NSW Farmers Association, Andrew Heap, will be taking on the inaugural role.

Mr Green said the new role would focus on opportunities for the development of vegetable production on the North-West Coast.

“The aim is to improve the resilience and productivity of vegetable producers impacted by the closure of the McCain processing plant at Smithton.” 

Mr Green said the two-year appointment was being funded by the State Government through the Community Taskforce, which was established after McCain announced the closure in November last year.

TFGA chief executive Jan Davis said Mr Heap would audit current activities and implement priority projects indentified in the five-year Tasmanian Vegetable Industry Strategic Plan launched in 2007.

The Plan seeks to improve 

• industry culture and structures;
• products and services;
• market development, marketing and PR;
• business and supply chain;
• production practices and natural resource management; and
• policy and government relations.

“Mr Heap brings a wealth of experience and industry knowledge to our team and this will be an invaluable resource to explore opportunities for the future,” Ms Davis said.

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