World Potato Congress


During its Annual Meeting on September 5, 2019, the WPC Board of Directors unanimously agreed that Potatoes South Australia's proposal to host the 2023 World Potato Congress was the clear winner!

The news was announced by South Australia’s Minister of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Hon Tim Whetstone MP at our Annual Dinner and Auction of New Season Baby Potatoes on 25 October.

This will be the first time this globally significant biennial business event has ever been held in Australia. It will focus on an ‘Old World Meets New’ theme given the historical status of the potato as a food staple, the innovation and technology applied to its production today and the investment in research and development being undertaken locally and internationally. There will also be consideration given to global changes in sustainability, climate, culture and population. 

Click here for more information...

"Precision Mapping: does it tell us anything we don’t already know?” explored the application of precision mapping techniques in potato production systems in South Australia. It confirmed that soil and crop sensing technologies can be used to inform: the strategic application of fertilisers and soil amendments; decisions about drainage alignment; and, can provide insight to irrigation performance, crop stress and yield forecasts.    

The project was funded by the South Australian Potato Industry Trust, and the South East and SA Murray Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Boards.

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From 1 January 2020, businesses in Australia’s horticulture industry will be able to apply for the new Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement. The Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement increases access to skilled and semi-skilled migrant workers for the horticulture industry, where appropriately qualified Australians are unavailable.

The Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement can be used by Australian employers for the following:

  • Sponsor overseas workers for the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) visa for a total of 31 approved occupations.
  • Sponsor overseas workers for permanent residency under the:
    • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) (subclass 494) visa program with a permanent pathway to a Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) available after three years; or
    • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) visa program after a three or four year transitional period on a TSS visa—three years for approved Skill Level 1-3 occupations and four years for approved Skill Level 4-5 occupations.
  • Access the following concessions to standard skilled visa requirements:
    • Discount of up to 10% on the Temporary Skill Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) where it is demonstrated that equivalent Australian workers do not receive annual earnings of $53,900.
    • A broader range of monetary payments (e.g. regularised overtime) and non-monetary benefits (e.g. accommodation) can be counted as guaranteed earnings.
    • For the TSS visa—overseas workers must score at least IELTS 5.0 overall, and at least IELTS 4.0 in each individual component score. For the ENS and SESR visas—overseas workers must score at least IELTS 5.0 overall, and at least IELTS 4.5 in each individual component score.
    • Overseas workers can be up to 50 years of age when they apply for an ENS or SESR visa.

Please see here for more information

Robbie Davis attended the NFF’s 40 year celebrations in Canberra this week as part of her graduation to the alumni of the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program...

Farmers lead a celebration of the shared values of all Australians.

In the city or the country we’re all part of the same cycle.

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The graduating 2019 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program cohort with NFF President Fiona Simson (centre) from left Jacqui Cannon, Leonie O’Driscoll, Kelly Pearce, Robbie Davis, Linda Lee, Rachel Carson, Allison Harker, Natalie Sommerville and Alison Southwell Cath Oates.

This years Annual Dinner and Auction will be held on Friday October 25th, 2019 at The National Wine Centre of Australia. Book your tickets now. Click here for more information.

It’s all about potatoes at the SE entrance to the Goyder Pavilion at the Royal Adelaide Show...

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Please see media release below concerning the waiving of student fees for regional 457 / 482 visa holders.

This was as a direct result of lobbying around the real life example of children being driven across the border from Parilla, South Australia to Victoria to attend school.

Click here for the media release and here for a full list of regional schools exempt from fees.

Industry Stakeholders

This is VERY IMPORTANT information regarding changes to Biosecurity conditions for interstate trade between SA and WA. 

Potatoes South Australia has been working closely with PIRSA Biosecurity SA on two highly significant issues:

  • Western Australian (WA) entry conditions for washed ware potatoes from South Australia (SA); and
  • The acceptance of CLso Freedom in WA.

Many of you would be aware of these changes, particularly the opening of the WA border for exports which has been widely publicised. Click here for more information on this.

Everything about the Annual Potato Industry Dinner at the National Wine Centre of Australia, Adelaide on Friday night was exceptional! The industry and supporting stakeholders united in a way never seen before with the Exhibition Hall brought to a stand-still!

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L-R: Rod Knight (Thomas Foods International Fresh Produce), John Mitolo, Alex Mitolo (The Mitolo Group), Robbie Davis (Potatoes South Australia), Paul White (Zerella Fresh), Chris McDermott (Little Heroes Foundation)

Every year, an auction of new season baby potatoes is held during the evening, with all proceeds donated to the Little Heroes Foundation, a charity dedicated to supporting children living with cancer and serious illness, and their families.

Mr Chris McDermott, Little Heroes Foundation Chairman and CEO talked of the work a little girl with a rare genetic disease who had passed away during the week. She had been in the care of the Foundation for the past eight years.  Click here to read more...

Blind tastings to find the perfect potato vodka are revealing left over starch from making potato crisps is the choice ingredient for a top drop.

In fact, the starch cake sourced from PepsiCo’s Adelaide crisp factory is proving so good that Adelaide Hills Distillery is now working towards launching its unique new vodka in January.

“We’re creating a vodka with flavour that’s mindfully sourced and sustainably made,” Potatoes South Australia CEO Robbie Davis says.

It was Ms Davis’s peak industry body that began work on creating the unusual new vodka with Adelaide Hills Distillery and the University of Adelaide last year.

They won a $30,000 grant from the former Labor State Government with the idea of finding new ways to use potato waste, and soon began trials using potato peel, the starch cake left over after making crisps and potato water. Click here to continue reading....