New leadership brings a fresh perspective to the ginger industry


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A new panel chair, a search for passionate growers and R&D investment focused on innovative agtech are injecting fresh ideas into the Australian ginger industry.

The appointment of Carter & Spencer Group’s Nicole Christodoulou as the new AgriFutures™ Ginger Program Advisory Panel Chair is a welcome decision by the Advisory Panel and a sign of what’s to come for the burgeoning industry.

Nicole joined the AgriFutures™ Ginger Program Advisory Panel in 2017 and put her hand up for the role with the encouragement of former Chair, Shane Templeton.

Outgoing Advisory Panel Chair, Shane Templeton of Templeton’s Ginger, said Nicole’s contribution to the Advisory Panel since her appointment has been noted, particularly her steely focus on ensuring R&D investment decisions are aligned with the industry five year plan.

“Nicole is a respected member of the Advisory Panel and stepping into the role of Chair is a wonderful opportunity to make her mark on the industry. She is a natural leader and brings a youthful energy to the team which we hope will inspire others to take note of the value, and importance, of R&D to the future success of the industry,” said Mr Templeton.

A particular focus for Nicole is encouraging more young people into the industry, and she believes opportunities with technology is the carrot needed to get the next generation on board.

“There are so many exciting opportunities to introduce technology into the ginger industry, we hope that through greater promotion of R&D we can bring these ideas to the table and drive practice change on farm and in our processing facilities,” said Ms Christodoulou.

Under Nicole’s leadership, the AgriFutures™ Ginger Program Advisory Panel will continue to focus on delivering the objectives outlined in the Ginger Program RD&E Plan 2017-2022 and a recent open call for research proposals focused specifically on the objective of driving on-farm productivity through innovative technology.

AgriFutures Australia Program Manager, Research & Innovation, John Smith said the targeted approach is aimed at generating interest from researchers in the agtech space to develop research proposals that address in-field weed control.

“We’re seeking new ideas to solve key industry problems – innovative ideas that can identify weeds from ginger plants and either remove or restrict herbicide use to eliminate the weed will make a significant impact on the future prosperity of the ginger industry,” said Mr Smith.

“The future of the ginger industry is bright and we’re excited about the momentum that is building. A special thanks must go to outgoing Chair, Shane Templeton for his guidance and vision for the AgriFutures™ Ginger Program over the past seven years, we’re thrilled the industry has taken a proactive step in succession planning and it’s safe to say the industry is in good hands.”

The AgriFutures™ Ginger Program is currently recruiting for a new Advisory Panel member and growers with an interest in, and passion for, R&D are encouraged to apply. Applications close Friday, 14 December 2018.

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