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BerryQuest International 2018 | Growing Your Business... Now and into the Future!
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Growing Your Business… Now and into the Future!

If you are in the BERRY industry or want to join one of the fastest growing, most exciting horticultural sectors – BerryQuest International 2018 is a ‘must attend’ event.

BerryQuest International 2018 coming to Launceston very soon!

Dear berry growers and industry colleagues

It is my pleasure on behalf of Strawberries Australia, Australian Blueberry Growers’ Association and Raspberries & Blackberries Australia to extend a warm invitation to you to join us at BerryQuest International 2018 at the Country Club Tasmania in Launceston from 12th-15th February.

During the Business Sessions you will have the opportunity to hear from leading Australian and international experts on a wide range of topics relevant to the growth of your business and your industry.  Many of the topics have been selected by a panel of growers who have focussed on the issues that will be pertinent to the berry industry as it expands over the next 5 to 10 years.

Among the presenters will be several innovative growers who are putting this knowledge into practice, and have given their time to share their journey of discovery with us.

The opportunities to share information and network presented by the Conference are extraordinary.  You will be able to speak to and hear from suppliers about the latest innovations and technology at the dedicated Trade Exhibition.

You will have the chance to be exposed to excellent business opportunities though participating in all networking and social events.  It is very rare that an industry has the opportunity to meet in one place over a period of time and the social/networking events are the place where much of the ‘real business’ is done.

As an added bonus and part of BerryQuest International 2018 there will be a field day program.  This program has been tailored specifically for our delegates, so we urge you to take the time to participate in this most important event.

We have been asked ‘why Launceston’?  The reason is quite simple.  The Country Club Tasmania in Launceston has excellent meeting facilities and is close to the growing areas where strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries will all be in season.

BerryQuest International 2018 provides a rare opportunity for you to spend a few days working ‘on your business’ rather than ‘in’ it. I can guarantee you will depart having learned a great deal, much of which you will be able to use to your advantage in your business.

We are looking forward to meeting you in February.

Simon Dornauf

Chair Conference Committee
BerryQuest International 2018

For your investment you will:


Be exposed to excellent business opportunities through participating in all networking and social events.


Hear from Australian and International experts on a wide range of topics identified by leading growers.


Gain access to the latest innovations and technology from suppliers at the dedicated Trade Exhibition.

Field Trip

Have the opportunity to attend field trips tailored especially for delegates to BerryQuest International 2018.


Monday 12th February 2018

5.00pm  Exhibition opens Country Club
6.00 – 8.00pm  Welcome reception held in Exhibition Hall (Proudly sponsored by Woolworths)

Tuesday 13th February 2018

8.30 – 9.00am Opening of conference – Simon Dornauf
9.00 – 9.30am Insights into the global berry industry – Marion Regan (Hugh Lowe Farms)
9.30 – 10.00am An overview of the Australian berry industry – Simon Dornauf (Hillwood Berries)
10.00 – 10.30am Morning break in Exhibition hall (Proudly sponsored by Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture)
10.30 – 11.00am How we breed berries in the USA Northwest and new breeding approaches – Dr Chad Finn (USDA Oregon)
11.00 – 12.30am The changing retail and consumer landscape – Tristan Kitchener, followed by retailers panel: Warwick Hope (Woolworths), Simon Mandelbaum (Coles), Costco and others
12.30 – 1.30pm

Lunch break in Exhibition hall

1.30 – 2.00pm Conference breakout sessions:

Biosecurity risk in planting material – John McDonald (Nursery & Garden Industry Australia)

Latest developments in Berry IPM – Lachlan Chilman (Biological Services) Berry Industry emergency response to biosecurity incidences – PHA
2.00 – 2.30pm Strawberry certification and runner research – Dr Frank Greenhalgh (VSICA) Biological control of diseases – Dean Metcalf (Biocontrol Australia)

SWD – What will it mean when it arrives? – Paul Horne (IPM Technologies)

2.30 – 3.00pm

Berry breeding and propagation for speed – Karen Brock (Brocklands Nursery)

Red drupelet disorder in blackberries – Max Edgley (UTAS)

Managing crises: One industry’s experience – Diane Fullelove (Aust Melon Association)

3.00 – 3.30pm

Afternoon break in Exhibition Hall

3.30 – 4.00pm Conference breakout sessions:
Accessing international markets for Australian Berries –  Luke Osborne (DAWR) Varietal trends in blueberries overseas and in Australia – Ridley Bell (MBF) Moisture balance control in substrate – Dirk Prins (Priva)
4.00 – 4.30pm Potential for Australian Blueberries in China – Anthony Poiner (ABGA) Strawberry breeding update – Jodi Neal (QDAF) Getting the best out of substrate – Jacco Hoogendoorn (Legro)
4.30 – 5.00pm Phytosanitary irradiation: Export opportunities and advantages – Ben Reiley (Steritech) New blackberry varieties from North America – Dr Chad Finn (USDA) Blueberry and strawberry production systems inside automatic greenhouses – Luis Gaxiola (Cravo)
6.00 – 9.00pm

‘Taste of Tasmania’ Dinner Josef Chromy Winery (Proudly sponsored by Steritech)

Wednesday 14th February 2018

8.30 – 9.00am Using robotics in horticulture – Carla Brown (University of Sydney)
9.00 – 9.30am Berry grower experiences: from soil to substrate – Alan Bissett (Wee Red Barn NZ)
9.30 – 10.00am Sharing experiences of growing in substrate – George Jessett (Costa Group), Simon Dornauf (Hillwood Berries), Dave Fairweather (Taste n See), Ian Mungall (Red Jewel), Alan Bissett (Wee Red Barn, NZ)
10.00 – 10.30am Morning break in Exhibition hall
10.30 – 11.00am Can using Artificial Intelligence help us grow the perfect berry? – Ros Harvey (The Yield Technology Solutions)
11.00 – 11.20am Industry marketing and promotion – Elisa King (Hort Innovation)
11.20 – 11.40am Domestic blueberry marketing: lessons for all berries – Alex Smith (Australian Blueberry Growers Association)
11.40 -12.30pm The future of marketing berries – Jeff Matthews (YV Fresh), Lee Carnemolla (Perfection Fresh), Brendon Lai (Fresh Produce Group), Natalie Bell (Mountain Blue Farms), Elisa King (Hort Innovation)
12.30 – 1.30pm Lunch break in Exhibition hall

1.30 – 2.00pm Conference breakout sessions:
Supercharged Air – a potential postharvest technology for dry sanitation – Dr Sukhvinder Pal Singh (NSW DPI) Hort Frontiers – Solving tomorrow’s challenges today – Stuart Burgess (Hort Innovation) Charcoal rot in Strawberries – David Oag (QDAF)
2.00 – 2.30pm Certification systems for market access – Clare Hamilton-Bate (Freshcare) What do we know about pollination in protected cropping? – Lisa Evans (NZIPFR)  Blueberry rust: what have we learnt from the NSW experience – Rosalie Daniel (NSW DPI)
2.30 – 3.00pm Seeking a social lisence – Gurmesh Singh (ABGA) Impact of plastic on protected berry growing – Tom De Smedt (RKW HyPlast) From the breeder to the field and beyond: a systems-based approach – Prof Ionnis Tzanetakis (University of Arkansas)
3.00 – 3.30pm

Afternoon break in Exhibition hall

3.30 – 4.30pm Managing labour issues in the berry industry and updates on the Horticulture code – Rachel Mackenzie (Growcom)
4.30 – 5.00pm Sourcing and managing labour – Andrew Bell (Mountain Blue Farms), Peter Angel (MADEC), Rachel Mackenzie (Growcom), Simon Dornauf (Hillwood Berries)
6.00 – 10.30pm Conference dinner – Country Club (Proudly sponsored by Perfection Fresh)

Thursday 15th February 2018

8.30 – 5.00pm Choice of two farm tours (one of which allows for delegates to catch 5 5.30pm Syd/Melb  flights ex Launceston)

Tours include visits to: Hillwood Farmgate, Burlington berries, Tasmanian Berries, Forager Foods and more. 

At Country Club Launceston Tasmania

12 – 15 February 2018