The Melons Australia team is growing!

As is our engagement with and representation of industry.

If you don’t already know about us, Melons Australia is the peak industry body for the melon industry in Australia.

Looking at the previous year in review, we underwent significant reform to strengthen our industries representation, engagement, and market offering. This included appointing our first full-time Executive Officer – Johnathon Davey. Johnathon can be contacted by industry on 0407 032 023 or at execofficer@melonsaustralia.org.au.

2021 also saw us work through the development and implementation of our new 2021-26 Strategic Plan, this was designed to support the industry – Working together to build a successful future for the Australian Melon industry. The 4 key strategic focus areas of the strategy are:
o Organisational development (including leadership and resources for Melons Australia).
o Grower/Industry engagement and support.
o Melon marketing and promotion (domestic and export).
o Industry production development (profitability, sustainability, biosecurity, R&D).

So, what’s on for 2022?

With Johnathon Davey continuing to lead the team as Executive Officer and industry advocate, Melons Australia has also appointed Communications Officer Courtney Archer. Courtney will be working to develop and execute the Melons communications strategy. Joanna Embry will continue her work as Biosecurity Officer with the focus for 2022 an extension and outreach program.

Working with Hort Innovation, we have developed a regional roadshow and conference program that will span over the coming years. Our roadshow program will see the Melons Australia team, strategic partners, research providers and other interested parties in your region at some stage in 2022.

From a biosecurity standpoint, Melons Australia will be implementing a national biosecurity extension project which aims to improve farm biosecurity practices, including crop hygiene and surveillance for exotic pests and diseases.

The fundamental objectives of this project are to:
1. Assist growers to improve general biosecurity practices.
2. Develop and provide a toolkit including the resources required to improve farm hygiene, biosecurity, and monitoring practices e.g., Footbaths, information on permitted disinfecting chemicals, visitor registers etc.
3. Educate growers on conducting their own surveillance for high priority pests.
4. Assist growers with installing specific improved biosecurity hygiene including signage/ visitor registers/ apps to trace visitors etc.

Our biosecurity officer will be conducting grower visits and organising regional workshops in all Western Australian growing regions throughout 2022. For more information on these workshops make sure to follow our Facebook and Instagram pages and, visit our website where we will include regular updates.

2022 will also see a complete reform of our industry communications through the development of an extensive communications strategy, working to improve industry engagement and strengthen industry resilience and connectedness. Our strategy will work to improve our current digital platforms, and the way we deliver industry resources and training, working to promote effective two-way communications.

Over the coming months, we will be launching a new digital member platform for industry communications. This new digital portal will hold secure information and resources, a “Community of Practice” facilitating regular discussion forums, including podcasts and other useful resources. The platform will also include an “Ask the Expert” feature, connecting growers with participating researchers, reforming and innovating the way we communicate with industry and allowing growers across the nation to easily communicate with each other.

We welcome all input or feedback from Western Australian growers into the Melons Australia work program.