9th Australian Wildflower Conference

Qld logo sample 1The 9th Australian Wildflower Conference and Trade Show will be held on Saturday 21 June 2014 at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre in Queensland. Exploring the theme of ‘Wildflowers – new directions for success!’, the program will focus on R&D, technical and business advice relevant to the wildflowers and native plants industry.

Invited speakers include Gary Leeson, from Organic Crop Protectants Pty Ltd, who will discuss ‘The Pest & Disease Triangle – back to the future’. The latest research findings about irrigation scheduling for wildflower crops will be discussed by Dr Rachel Poulter, Research Scientist, Flora Earth & Water Pty Ltd, while Queensland grower Lodi Pameijer will share the impressive results he has achieved in his plantation by applying this technology.

With many important wildflowers belonging to the Myrtaceae family and susceptible to myrtle rust, conference attendees will find the update on myrtle rust and new research directions by Peri Tobias from the University of Sydney most informative. Dr Robyn McConchie, also from this University, will update the conference on her research into farm-based methods for control of flowering in waratahs, which aims to assist growers to extend the currently quite short season of availability in the market.

Several speakers will address aspects of successfully marketing wildflower products to Australian and overseas customers. Nick Hutchison from Cedar Hill Flowers & Foliage Pty Ltd will speak about exporting wildflowers, discussing market trends, opportunities, customer expectations and requirements, while Dr Emily Rigby, also from Cedar Hill, will share the results of a study that looked into improving market access for Australian wildflowers through ecolabelling. Florist and teacher Del Thomas will explain what Australian florists expect when using wildflowers in their work, while a panel of industry experts will share their perspectives on what it takes to successfully sell wildflowers to Aussie customers.

In the fashion driven flower industry, new products always attract attention.  Digby Growns, senior plant breeder at Kings Park & Botanic Garden in Perth will introduce his breeding programs, which aim to create novel new plants; Adrian Parsons, from flower wholesaler and exporter WAFEX, will share his experience in successfully marketing new varieties and protecting the associated intellectual property.

This conference is an activity supported by the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (RIRDC) project ‘Capacity Building and Communications Enhancement of the Wildflower Industry’ and is co-hosted by RIRDC and WildFlowers Australia, the national industry body.

The 9th Australian Wildflower conference will take place immediately after the ‘Know it to Grow it Conference’ being hosted by the Flower Association of Queensland Inc. (FAQI) at the same venue. The FAQI conference will focus on effective communication, promotion and marketing for flower businesses over two days (19-20 June).

Registration is required for both conferences and the Flower Association of Qld Inc. (FAQI) will be acting as joint Conference Secretariat.  Ω

21 February 2014