The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2018-12-03T10:25:33Z It’s a wrap: Australia’s largest ever agricultural innovation trade fair concludes – but there’s more to come… 2018-12-03T10:25:33Z its-a-wrap-australias-largest-ever-agricultural-innovation-trade-fair-concludes-but-theres-more-to-come GFIA In Focus Australia, Australia’s biggest agricultural innovation trade fair has concluded after two days of conferences and seminars that attracted an impressive number of visitors. Focusing on precision agriculture and protected cropping, the event was attended by international delegates, investors and high-profile food producers who all took advantage of the opportunity to learn from a variety of industry exhibitors, educational sessions, networking events and conferences. This was GFIA’s first Australian event – and David Stradling, Sales Director of One CMG Group, the company behind GFIA In Focus Australia describes it as a “fantastic showcase of some of Australia’s most innovative, forward-thinking exhibitors.” With innovation being a theme at the forefront of the conference, key guest speaker topics included a panel discussion led by Richard Health from Australian Farm Institute, which covered the digitalization of agriculture, and highlighted challenges and opportunities for Australia’s food and water security. Also hugely popular were a presentation on precision agriculture and the use of digital technologies on Branson Farms by Mark Branson, and a keynote speech from Tim Gentle, founder of Think Digital, which covered a range of fascinating topics, including immersive technologies in agriculture. International delegate Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Deputy General Director for Vietnamese farm group VinEco (a member of VinGroup) attended the conference to learn more about the latest trends. “I’ve seen lots of great stuff here,” she says. “I’ve been very impressed by the stands, which have showcased so much new technology and innovation, particularly in AI and automation, as well as some really valuable information on everything from irrigation systems and bio-systems to new materials and software for quality and food management. We can now clearly see how we can apply this to our systems to improve efficiencies and save on labour costs.” Beef producer and agent Henry Leonard was also full of praise for the event: “There have been some really excellent speakers, and it was incredible to learn more about some of the research currently being done in this sector. The scope and diversity of investment makes it a very exciting time for the agriculture and food production sector.” Peter Smith, Training Manager of event sponsor Agforce, says that GFIA In Focus Australia’s first event in the Australian market won’t be their last. “I see the whole concept of GFIA as having great longevity. The plan is to build on this year’s event to stage a permanent annual innovation event in Brisbane, and for this to be the biggest in Australia. There’s a great deal of scope for including other streams of ag tech, and to also branch out into other types of ag-events. We think the approach is flexible and sustainable enough to allow the event to grow in all kinds of directions.” David Stradling is similarly optimistic about GFIA In Focus Australia’s role in shaping the nation’s agricultural targets for years to come. “GFIA aims to bridge the gap between international markets and Australia tech suppliers – and in response to this year’s success, next year’s GFIA conference will include multiple excursions by key stakeholders into Australian leadership and innovation in the agriculture and food production sector. This is the next leap of the journey to support the Australian Government’s ambition to make agriculture a $100 billion industry by 2030, and we’re looking forward to making next year’s event even bigger and better than this one.” If you didn’t make it to GFIA in Focus Australia this year, don’t miss out on the opportunity to be a part of 2019’s even more ambitious offering. For more information visit www.gfiaaustralia.com About GFIA The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture has emerged as a global authority on sustainable food production, driving innovation through exhibitions and conferences across the globe. GFIA exhibitions have welcomed more than 25,000 visitors, and worked with over 50 international partners to showcase innovative products with a proven benefit to the agricultural industry. Their conferences offer stakeholders pioneering forums and marketplaces to foster meaningful dialogue, collaboration, recognition and action between regional food producers, buyers, innovators, policy makers and investors. Media Enquiries: C7EVEN Communications Kate Munsie (02) 6766 4513 / 0421 935 843 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: Agronomist Daniel Rollinson and beef producer and agent Henry Leonard GFIA in Focus Australia Conference and Exhibition Australia’s largest ever agricultural innovation trade fair gets underway 2018-11-27T03:33:44Z australias-largest-ever-agricultural-innovation-trade-fair-gets-underway Australia’s biggest agricultural innovation trade fair, GFIA In Focus Australia is off to a flying start, with almost 2,000 registered visitors to attend the event. Aimed at helping Australian farmers and agribusinesses improve the sustainability and sophistication of food production, a number of high-profile delegates from across Asia Pacific were also present on the first day of the Brisbane-based conference, which is intended to open up new business opportunities for Australian ag-tech suppliers and investors. Kicking off the day’s events was guest speaker The Honourable Mark Furner MP, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Queensland, who welcomed attendees during the opening ceremony. In his speech, Mr Furner acknowledged the importance of the event incorporating an impressive line-up of exhibitors showcasing innovative agricultural products and services, and high-profile speakers covering a range of topics. Mr Furner was pleased to open the event and said the Queensland Government will continue to work with innovators to grow the agricultural industry. Amongst the day’s highlights, Pete Lewis, former ABC landline producer facilitated a conference on Controlled Environments & Protected Cropping, covering topics like Automation and controlled systems – while a panel of speakers debated whether indoor and controlled environments can help feed the world, and QAAFI hosted a fascinating ‘Future farming and food’ workshop. A Precision Agriculture & Smart Farming conference looked at Precision Agriculture for livestock and farm asset management, which also debated whether a lack of visibility could be costing businesses. And in some of the most exciting highlights of the day, leading-edge agtech suppliers, entrepreneurs and scientists took to the stage to present their latest innovations ­– including Ceres Tag’s live demonstration of their Smart Ear Tags, which live-streamed the location, health and behavior of 100 cattle located some 1,000km away in northern QLD. Andrew Logan, CEO of OneCrop also presented on the magic of microclimates and revealed how to create explosive yield increases using existing water and sunlight. The day also saw the launch of AgKnowledge, the country’s first agricultural startup company investor pitch platform, which brought together universities, vocational education organisations and colleges, private and public research institutions, professional services organisations, centers of agri-learning / capacity enhancement, agri-tech startup companies and agribusiness sector investors. Sales Director at One CMG Group David Stradling, the company behind GFIA In Focus Australia spoke of his reaction to the day’s events. “This is the first GFIA event in Australia, and day one has already surpassed everybody’s expectations – not only from the organiser’s perspective, but also from the attendees. This exhibition and conference has shown Brisbane to be a fantastic venue for farmers, growers and agribusinesses across the country to learn more about the latest innovations in agriculture. We’re looking forward to seeing what the second day has in store for the event’s many delegates and attendees.” To find out more about GFIA In Focus Australia, visit www.gfiaaustralia.com About GFIA The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture has emerged as a global authority on sustainable food production, driving innovation through exhibitions and conferences across the globe. GFIA exhibitions have welcomed more than 25,000 visitors, and worked with over 50 international partners to showcase innovative products with a proven benefit to the agricultural industry. Their conferences offer stakeholders pioneering forums and marketplaces to foster meaningful dialogue, collaboration, recognition and action between regional food producers, buyers, innovators, policy makers and investors. Event details: GFIA In Focus Australia 27 November 2018: 09.00 – 18.00 28 November 2018: 09.00 – 16.00 Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre Media Enquiries: C7EVEN Communications Adam Arndell (02) 6766 4513 / 0403 372 889 adam.arndell@c7even.com.au Kate Munsie (02) 6766 4513 / 0421 935 843 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: The Honourable Mark Furner MP, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Queensland The Honourable Mark Furner MP, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Queensland (close up) David Stradling, Sales Director at One CMG Group and Honourable Mark Furner MP, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Queensland Just days to go before the start of Australia’s largest ever agricultural innovation trade fair 2018-11-19T20:00:00Z just-days-to-go-before-the-start-of-australias-largest-ever-agricultural-innovation-trade-fair Australia’s largest ever agricultural innovation trade fair, GFIA In Focus Australia is set to kick off in Brisbane next Tuesday – and with some of the country’s top food producers in attendance, it’s a prime opportunity for farmers, growers and agribusinesses to learn more about the latest innovations in agriculture. Part of a global series of exhibition and conferences driving sustainable food production and innovation, GFIA In Focus Australia takes place at Brisbane’s Convention & Exhibition Center from 27-28 November. Leading producers Mort & Co National Feedlot, Mighty Green and Sundrop Farms are just some of the featured guests, and for Cy Kovacich, owner/manager of Mighty Green, the event is a chance to share his experiences diversifying his sugarcane operation: “The sugar cane industry is traditionally a monoculture ­– but with margins closing up through soil stress and other issues, my focus is on optimising soil health and finding production gains and economic savings through diversification, by growing other crops like rice, beans and soy. I’m honored to be involved, and to have the chance to hopefully inspire others through discussing my own experiences.” Amongst the many innovative exhibitors showcasing the latest game-changing innovations and technology is Ceres Tag, who have announced they will be doing a live demonstration at the event, in what will be a world first for the GFIA. In the days leading up to the event, Ceres Tags will be tagging over 100 cattle in Townsville with their Smart Ear Tags, before live streaming their location, health and behaviour 1,000 kms away at the conference. Guest speaker at the opening ceremony on the 27th November will be The Honourable Mark Furner MP, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Queensland. Mark describes the event as “a brilliant opportunity for farmers, growers and agribusinesses across the country to understand more about some of the latest innovations that can better support Australia’s agricultural industry.” Tim Gentle, Founder, Digital Crusader and Educator of Think Digital will be the second guest speaker at the opening ceremony. He’ll be talking about the some of the immersive new technologies available for agriculture, including the most exciting advancement to date in the world of Virtual Reality – a VR Platform for Agriculture. “If you thought Virtual Reality is just for gamers, and Augmented Reality is to catch Pokemon Go’s, then think again,” he says. “In agriculture, immersive technologies will increase productivity, improve safety, enhance training and help you to communicate more effectively than ever before, and I’m excited to be able to unveil the details of this new technology at the conference.” For Sales Director at One CMG Group David Stradling, the company behind GFIA In Focus Australia, the event looks set to be a game-changer for those involved. “We anticipate that this event will deliver huge business opportunities for ag-tech suppliers in markets expected to experience significant growth over the next few years,” he says. The GFIA are giving away 2,000 free tickets – but with only a small number left, farmers and agribusinesses are encouraged not to miss out on the chance to attend this unique mix of exhibitions, conferences, innovation sessions and educational workshops. To register your place at GFIA In Focus Australia before it begins, visit www.gfiaaustralia.com Event details: GFIA In Focus Australia 27 November 2018: 09.00 – 17.00 28 November 2018: 09.00 – 16.00 Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre About GFIA The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture has emerged as a global authority on sustainable food production, driving innovation through exhibitions and conferences across the globe. GFIA exhibitions have welcomed more than 25,000 visitors, and worked with over 50 international partners to showcase innovative products with a proven benefit to the agricultural industry. Their conferences offer stakeholders pioneering forums and marketplaces to foster meaningful dialogue, collaboration, recognition and action between regional food producers, buyers, innovators, policy makers and investors. Media Enquiries: C7EVEN Communications Adam Arndell (02) 6766 4513 / 0403 372 889 adam.arndell@c7even.com.au Kate Munsie (02) 6766 4513 / 0421 935 843 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: Tim Gentle, Founder, Digital Crusader and Educator of Think Digital Precision Farming Precision agriculture can revolutionise the industry, say leading experts. 2018-11-12T02:02:06Z precision-agriculture-can-revolutionise-the-industry-say-leading-experts What do data analytics and modelling, fertiliser applications, harvesting, irrigation, seeding, planting and spraying equipment, GPS systems, robotics and smartphone apps have in common? They’re all precision agriculture systems that can revolutionise various aspects of a farm's operations. And as technology evolves to keep pace with the changing needs of a business that’s worth as much as 12% of the country’s GDP, they’re poised to help transform Australia’s agricultural industry. With the Federal Government wanting Australian agriculture to become a $100 billion industry by 2030, a key focus for the industry is the unlocking of new technology, supported by a favourable tax and policy environment for innovation. It’s no surprise, then, that interest is firmly fixed on how producers can harness the benefits of precision agriculture to achieve everything from increased production and reduced labour costs to water savings, lower wastage and greater task automation. The breadth of available applications is huge. Whether it’s computer and mobile-based apps designed to provide real-time information relating to crop disease, or GPS mapping to better understand soil conditions, new technologies are emerging to help farmers collect data, manage risk, increase yields, save time and cut costs. As Anastasia Volkova, CEO and Founder of data analytics platform FluroSat explains, “there have been major advances in spatial and navigation technology, meaning that agriculture can increasingly be underpinned by technologies like self-driving tractors and robotics. Secondly, the ability to use proximal or remote sensing to collect information that can both inform decision-making and measure its effects is also key. And the final piece of the puzzle is machine-learning advancements, and the ability to collect data to create a highly detailed picture – which again, can have hugely beneficial implications for agriculture.” Technologies that address drought-related challenges are another burgeoning industry. Following the government’s recent plans to set up a $3.9 billion fund to support water infrastructure and drought-related projects, the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) has identified a suite of new technologies that can help combat Australia’s current drought. They include a water conditioning system that enables growers to utilise supplies previously considered unsuitable, a device that continually informs farmers of flow rates and total water used, and a microclimate solution combining sensors, analytics and apps that analyses atmospheric conditions, leaf wetness, soil moisture and temperature to provide localised growing condition data. Anastasia believes there’s a strong case for embracing new technologies, especially in the face of extreme conditions. “Robustness is the key characteristic needed for agricultural systems, especially in the face of adverse weather like drought. Technologies like variable rate, advance sensing and machine learning technologies can underpin a successful solution that can mitigate the worst effects and support the industry through these types of challenges.” AgTech Cluster Leader at CSIRO Data61 Dr Peyman Moghadam agrees that new technologies are receiving a huge amount of interest currently, especially relating to drones, aerial and satellite imaging, robotic technologies, automated harvesting and precision spraying. Yet a sense of innovation fatigue is also affecting the industry, he says. “Growers are right now more interested in adapting technology to fit their existing equipment than investing in brand new assets. So what’s happening currently is a trend of retro-fitting existing assets to make them smarter. We’re not taking drivers out of the tractors just yet. Instead we’re offering smart features, retro-fitted to make lives easier, using technology like auto steering and automated harvesting, weeding and pruning, which can help reduce labour costs by as much as 30-40%.” Whether through robotics, virtual reality, AI or new automation technologies, the digitalisation of agriculture means that farmers and growers will over time be better able to increase production and yields, with fewer inputs and labour costs. As Anastasia explains, “Costs can be reduced by knowing for instance the response to nutrients in different areas of a farm, so that fertilizer use can be fully optimized. Whether it’s used for weed detection in the field, or for grading the protein content of a grain that’s about to be harvested, precision agriculture solutions can offer impressive results for farmers who are able to embrace these new technologies.” The GFIA will present the latest innovations and technologies for smart food production in the precision agriculture sector at Australia’s largest agricultural innovation event, GFIA in Focus, in Brisbane on November 27-28. Anastasia and Peyman will join a host of guest speakers discussing everything from smart irrigation and big data to robotics and Virtual Reality. To register your attendance or to find out more, visit www.gfiaaustralia.com Ends Media Enquiries: Kate Munsie - C7EVEN COMMUNICATIONS (02) 6766 4513 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: Precision Agriculture Previous GFIA Precision Agriculture Conference Protected cropping heralded as the ideal system to help supercharge Australian agriculture. 2018-11-07T06:12:11Z protected-cropping-heralded-as-the-ideal-system-to-help-supercharge-australian-agriculture ‘Sustainable growth’ is the key phrase underpinning the Australian Government’s plans to make the nation’s agricultural industry a $100 billion industry by 2030. Yet with widespread and continued drought conditions challenging these ambitious plans, growers are looking to new solutions to ensure more consistent crops and higher yields – and protected cropping is one increasingly attractive proposition. There’s no doubt that indoor and controlled environments, speed breeding and hydroponic systems are currently driving food production like never before. The Protected Cropping Industry is the fastest growing food producing sector in Australia, valued at around $1.8 billion per annum. As Vertical Farming Systems Executive Director John Leslie explains, that’s no surprise. “Australian agriculture currently has a return on investment of about 3-5%, and that’s not sufficient to attract investment into the sector,” he says. “Vertical farming removes much of the labour cost, which is the most expensive component of farming, so the ROI can be increased to 20% and upwards – and then agriculture does become an attractive investment proposition.” With a $3.9 billion fund recently set up to support water infrastructure and drought-related projects, protected cropping has never been more relevant. Controlled environment farming protects the industry from unfavourable weather conditions like drought, contributing to more consistent crops and higher yields. John sees vertical farming as the ideal solution for some parts of the industry, because the process is impervious to climate, and the dehumidification process generates a massive amount of water. “We’re actually producing water out of the air, and that makes vertical farming highly viable, even in places as arid as the Sahara desert. While vertical farming isn’t a fix-all for every drought situation, it’s another tool we can use to combat the effects ­– and it will certainly support some parts of the food supply chain and help address things like drought.” Current advancements in the technology mean that protected cropping will soon be applicable on a broader scale. John explains how his company is developing systems that will soon be able to produce animal feed and proteins. “It’s based on the same technology we’re right now using for vegetables, and over time that will begin to address the problem on a wider scale,” he says. Hydroponics is another production sector currently experiencing rapid growth – and as hydroponic grower and consultant Brian Ellis explains, it’s highly efficient in its use of inputs including water, fertilisers, labour, land and energy. “It’s possible to produce 5-10 times as much per hectare using hydroponic systems compared to growing in soil. There’s no doubt that adverse weather is impacting everyone as the climate continues to change ­– but with hydroponics you have much more control over your environment. Essentially there’s much more predictability, and less effect from extreme weather.” Brian explains how hydroponic systems use only minimal water, which contributes further to their viability. “We often only use as little as 5% of the water for re-circulated hydroponic crops, compared to growing the same crop out in the field. That gap may have closed a little with the introduction of new technologies, but it’s still nowhere close to that figure. As drought continues to affect growers, there’s no doubt that hydroponics will become even more important, and more relevant to the success of the industry.” In the face of food security and global climatic variability concerns, safe, sustainable protected cropping in the form of vertical farming, hydroponics and speed breeding could well be the way of the future. With protected-crop growers at the forefront of highly sustainable, efficient and innovative food production processes, protected cropping will increasingly help to secure a profitable and more sustainable future for Australian agriculture. The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) will present the latest innovations and technologies for the controlled environment and protected cropping sector at Australia’s largest agricultural innovation event, GFIA in Focus, in Brisbane on November 27-28. John and Brian will join a host of guest speakers discussing everything from vertical farms and greenhouses to hydroponic and aquaponic systems and much more. To register for a free entry badge or to find out more, visit www.gfiaaustralia.com Ends Media Enquiries: Kate Munsie - C7EVEN COMMUNICATIONS (02) 6766 4513 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: Previous GFIA Protected Cropping Exhibition Protected Cropping MEDIA ALERT: Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture is coming to Brisbane 2018-10-30T22:09:32Z media-alert-global-forum-for-innovations-in-agriculture-is-coming-to-brisbane Next month Brisbane will play proud host to Australia’s largest agricultural innovation trade fair, GFIA in Focus. (An offshoot of the internationally recognised Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture.) Scheduled for 27-28 November at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, this not-to-be missed event has been organized to help realise the government’s ambition for Australian agriculture to become a $100 billion industry by 2030. Over 2,000 visitors from across Australia and the Asia Pacific will be flocking to Brisbane to see the hundreds of innovations showcased in this inspirational two-day exhibition and conference. Many of these innovations are in the areas of sustainable ag-tech across two key sectors: controlled environments & protected cropping and precision agriculture & smart farming. The implications for the industry are far reaching and are expected to drive a host of new opportunities for ag-tech suppliers, investors and food producers. GFIA in Focus Australia is proudly supported by some of Australia’s key agribusiness member organisations, including Agribusiness Australia, Queensland Farmers’ Federation, AgForce Queensland, Irrigation Australia, Growcom, Society of Precision Agriculture Australia and Northern Territory Farmers Association. Guest speaker at GFIA’s opening ceremony on the 27th November will be The Honourable Mark Furner MP, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Queensland. GFIA are delighted to have a speaker of Mr Furner’s caliber gracing the event and he is the ideal candidate to launch what will be a long-term strategy of driving innovation in Australian agriculture. GFIA would like to extend a warm invitation to media to attend this two-day event, and will, of course, provide opportunities for interviews with key event stakeholders. To confirm your media accreditation, register online here by 22rd November 2018. What: GFIA in Focus Australia When: 27 November 2018: 09.00 – 18.00 28 November 2018: 09.00 – 16.00 Where: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre Media Opportunities: Monday 27 November: 09.30-10.00: GFIA in Focus Opening Ceremony 10.00-11.00: Ribbon Cutting and Exhibition Tour 11.00-11.20: Interview with The Honourable Mark Furner MP Monday 27 November and Tuesday 28 November: Interview and photograph opportunities with: Key speakers (click here to view) Exhibitors (click here to view) David Stradling, One CMG Group Sales Director Attendee representatives For further information head to www.gifaaustralia.com Media contact: Kate Munsie, 0421 935 843, kate.munsie@c7even.com.au -ENDS- Leading agribusiness groups throw their weight behind Australia’s largest ever agricultural innovation trade fair 2018-10-15T01:22:51Z leading-agribusiness-groups-throw-their-weight-behind-australias-largest-ever-agricultural-innovation-trade-fair GFIA in Focus Australia is fast becoming a much-anticipated event within the agricultural community – and with some of Australia’s leading trade bodies recently announcing their commitment to the upcoming exhibition, it’s set to be one of Australia’s most exciting business-to-end-user sector trade fairs in the 2018 calendar. Nine of Australia’s key agribusiness member organisations have now pledged their support for the show, a satellite edition of a series of fairs that run internationally, driving sustainable food production and innovation. Promoting it as a great opportunity for agri-food professionals to freely attend the exhibitions and adjoining conferences, the organisations include Agribusiness Australia, Queensland Farmers’ Federation, AgForce Queensland, Irrigation Australia, Growcom, Passionfruit Australia, Queensland Olive Council, Society of Precision Agriculture Australia and Northern Territories Farmers Association. Tim Burrow, CEO at Agribusiness Australia welcomed the collaboration: “Our mantra is to advocate, to be inclusive and to spread knowledge, with the sole aim of advancing agri-business for the national good. A stronger agri-business sector benefits not only our communities, but also our nation’s financial and cultural wealth, and this event will no doubt be invaluable in creating new business opportunities, advancing knowledge and supporting greater collaboration.” For Travis Tobin, CEO at Queensland Farmers’ Federation, the upcoming fair aligns with QFF’s key strategies. “In representing the interests of peak state and national agriculture industry organisations, we engage in a broad range of economic, social, environmental and regional issues of strategic importance to the productivity, sustainability and growth of the agricultural sector. With our mission being to secure a strong and sustainable future for Queensland farmers, GFIA In Focus is a great opportunity to learn more about developing sustainable farming for the future.” The Australian edition takes place at Brisbane’s Convention & Exhibition Centre from 27-28 November 2018, and organisations like these, which represent tens of thousands of corporate agri-businesses, farmers and growers across the country will now be involved – a move which it’s anticipated will greatly extend the exhibition’s reach and influence. With the world’s population expected to increase from seven billion to almost nine billion by 2040, the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) was born with the belief that continuous innovation in agriculture is the only way to sustainably feed us all. To support the Australian Government’s ambition to increase our agricultural output to a $100 billion industry by 2030, the Queensland Government is committed to growing agriculture as one of the ‘four pillars’ of the state’s economy. However, as David Stradling, Sales Director of One CMG Group, the company behind GFIA In Focus Australia explained, government’s efforts alone will not achieve the target: “Unlocking agriculture’s growth potential requires a collaborative effort from all levels of government, industry, researchers and vested interest communities. In the face of continued drought and calls to raise productivity, farmers, growers and agribusinesses will increasingly need to implement more sustainable technologies.” “We see GFIA In Focus Australia as a prime opportunity for farmers, growers and agribusinesses across the country to learn more about the latest innovations in agriculture,” he continued. “We’re pleased to have nine of the country’s most influential agri-business member organisations on board for this unique event.” David described the exhibition as the beginning of a progressive long-term strategy to create opportunities that strengthen and support Australia’s agricultural industry. “We anticipate this event will deliver huge business opportunities for ag-tech suppliers in markets expected to experience significant growth over the next few years,” he said. The two-day show features two world-class showcases of leading-edge technology in precision and smart farming on one side of the Convention Centre’s Grand Hall, and on the other, an exhibition of suppliers in technology for controlled environment and protected cropping. The events are supported by their own dedicated conference and side-event programs, and visitors will have access across the entire event. GFIA are giving away 2,000 free tickets for November’s In Focus exhibition to food producers, policy makers and investors. Visit www.gfiaaustralia.com to register your attendance, or for further information about exhibiting at GFIA In Focus Australia. Event details: GFIA In Focus Australia 27 November 2018: 09.00 – 18.00 28 November 2018: 09.00 – 16.00 Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre About GFIA The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture has emerged as a global authority on sustainable food production, driving innovation through exhibitions and conferences across the globe. GFIA exhibitions have welcomed more than 25,000 visitors, and worked with over 50 international partners to showcase innovative products with a proven benefit to the agricultural industry. Their conferences offer stakeholders pioneering forums and marketplaces to foster meaningful dialogue, collaboration, recognition and action between regional food producers, buyers, innovators, policy makers and investors. Media Enquiries: C7EVEN Communications Adam Arndell (02) 6766 4513 / 0403 372 889 adam.arndell@c7even.com.au Kate Munsie (02) 6766 4513 / 0421 935 843 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: Tim Burrow, Agribusiness Australia CEO Travis Tobin, Queensland Farmers’ Federation CEO David Stradling, One CMG Group Sales Director BYD’s distribution channel and expanded Battery-Box portfolio on display at All Energy Conference and Exhibition 2018-10-02T22:30:00Z byds-distribution-channel-and-expanded-battery-box-portfolio-on-display-at-all-energy-conference-and-exhibition Strong growth in ANZ Distribution channel partners locked in New compatibility with Solis Inverter BYD Co., Ltd., the world’s leading supplier of rechargeable lithium batteries, will present its extended portfolio of the successful Battery-Box lithium storage systems series (previously named “B-Box”) at the All Energy Conference and Exhibition in Melbourne from October 3rd and 4th 2018. The company’s products will feature strongly throughout the event, with several distribution and inverter-partners featuring Battery-Boxes at their stalls. This extended presence underlines the fact that BYD’s distribution network has now reached maturity in Australia, and is beginning to impact a broader range of vertical markets. The expanded product portfolio now supports even more application types of all sizes on their way to energy independence and self consumption. The Battery-Box range of products places special emphasis on deployments for off-grid applications, and is compatible with a wide variety of mainstream inverters, such as SMA, Goodwe, Victron, Sungrow and Selectronic, highlighting the range’s versatility. The company has also recently added compatibility with the Solis Inverter. “Australia is an important market for BYD, representing our second largest region by global sales. Our large representation through our partners at All Energy proves that we have now consolidated our presence in the market, and are in a position to capitalize on the exceptional growth already experienced here over the past two years,” said Julia Chen, Global Sales Director, BYD Batteries. “The positive market reception of our Battery-Box storage system, which we showed at All Energy 2017, was a key motivation to grow our energy storage portfolio and regional partner network, and that move is paying off for us in Australia with ten percent growth, year-on-year.” Expanded Partner Portfolio and configuration examples support self-consumption At the event, BYD partners will showcase the expanded range of solutions in the field of inverters and present a selection of new compatible systems. They will also showcase configuration examples for the combined systems of storage solutions and inverters which demonstrate how the flexible modular storage system - in combination with proven partner solutions - can support many uses, from self-consumption through to off-grid applications. New Battery-Box LV generation After the successful introduction of the award-winning Battery-Box HV (high-voltage) lithium storage system in 2017, BYD now expands the low-voltage storage portfolio with the latest generation of the Battery-Box LV. At the company’s partner event in March 2018, the company presented the new Battery-Box LV (Low Voltage) 48 volt lithium storage system, which employs the successful modular design of the energy storage series, with battery capacities ranging from 3.5 to 14 kWh in one system, with one to four modules. The capacity can be scaled up to 42kWh with three systems connected in parallel. It is ideally suited for residential use. The system provides a high discharge power and higher usable energy ration than comparable systems in the market. It also employs BYD’s patented innovative connection system which allows for an extremely easy plug-and-play installation without the need to connect cables. The new generation adds an automated support for the connection of three systems to make the scaling up to 42kWh even easier. Other BYD products on display at the All energy event will include: • BYD Battery-Box LV 2.5-10 • BYD Battery-Box Pro 13.8 • BYD Battery-Box HV 6.4-11.5 "Disturbing and cowardly" 2018-09-27T11:15:32Z disturbing-and-cowardly Dear Editor, People in Western Australia and throughout the country are horrified at reports of what police have described as the "disturbing and cowardly" torture and killing of two kangaroos. Police found videos of these attacks on a mobile phone, and are looking for three men who appear on the footage. A Joondalup Police Detective, Senior Sergeant Paul Giuffre, said "I've seen the videos and honestly, in my 17 years of policing, it's one of the most disturbing things I have seen, hands down. It's graphic, it's disturbing, it's cowardly." In one incident, a small kangaroo is held down after being been burnt using an accelerant. Men then repeatedly punch and stab the animal and can be heard laughing. Another video, shot just minutes later, shows a man shoot the kangaroo in the head and a later video shows another kangaroo being repeatedly stabbed by a man as he or she struggles to escape. Men are heard laughing, swearing and encouraging the attacker before the animal is killed. People who hurt animals are often just getting warmed up. The link between cruelty to animals and other violent crimes is recognized by the FBI, which has found that a history of cruelty to animals regularly appears in its records of serial rapists and murderers. Psychiatrists list cruelty to animals as a diagnostic criterion in the standard diagnostic and treatment manual for conduct disorders. One U.S. study found that animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against humans. Another study, in Australia, revealed that 100 percent of sexual homicide offenders examined had a history of animal cruelty. Cruelty to animals is a serious crime and if the perpetrators aren’t caught then more animals including humans will be at risk. Anyone with information pertaining to this case is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online immediately, for the safety of the entire community. Desmond Bellamy Special Projects Coordinator PETA Australia PO Box 2352 Byron Bay NSW 2481 0411 577416 DesmondB@PETA.org.au Sustainable agriculture in the spotlight at Australia’s largest ever agricultural innovation trade fair 2018-09-18T22:19:23Z sustainable-agriculture-in-the-spotlight-at-australias-largest-ever-agricultural-innovation-trade-fair The Australian government is pushing for agriculture to become a $100 billion industry by 2030 – and with the QLD government aiming to double the state’s food production by 2040, the leading authority on sustainable food production and agriculture is hosting an event in Brisbane designed to showcase sustainable growing practices and new agricultural technologies. The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) In Focus Australia event will take place on November 27-28. Exhibiting the latest sustainable ag-tech innovations and technology from suppliers across all types of food production, it’s set to be Australia’s largest ever agricultural innovation trade fair. The event will place a particular focus on ‘growing sustainably’ and ‘unlocking new technology’, with more than 2,000 delegates expected to attend from across the Asia Pacific. Featuring two adjacent exhibitions, the first will present Controlled Environments & Protected Cropping, and the second will focus on Precision Agriculture and Smart Farming products. Within ‘Controlled Environments’, exhibitors will promote the latest greenhouses, system integrators, control systems and hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic systems – and the ‘Precision Agriculture’ sector will cover everything from data analytics and modeling to harvesting and irrigation equipment, seeding and planting equipment and GPS systems. A high-level conference programme will also run during the event – and for David Stradling, Sales Director of One CMG Group, the company behind GFIA In Focus, the event is “a rare opportunity to learn from agriculture food producers, policy makers and investors about the latest innovations and technologies for smart food production.” Among the confirmed exhibitors will be the creators of Ceres Tag, a new generation of smart ear tags for livestock provenance and management. CEO & Development Director David Smith described their livestock smart ear tags, which aspire to be National Traceability compliant and feature GPS positioning, movement and health monitoring abilities as a major step forward for the industry. “The benefits for Australian farmers are huge, being economic, environmental and social, and the tag can support everything from theft reduction and health and biosecurity safeguards to finance improvement, risk reduction, operational efficiency and land-use optimisation. “This event delivers an unrivalled opportunity for us to meet thousands of potential buyers of sustainable agriculture technology,” he continued. “I’m excited to exhibit at GFIA and raise awareness of our product to Australian graziers.” Also present will be multi-level indoor growing company Vertical Farm Systems, who will showcase their fully automated technology for growing commercial crops all year round, in any climate or location. Executive Director & Design Engineer John Leslie described the new system as the next generation of indoor growing solutions built for profitability more than spectacle. “Over the past 9 years we have refined the system automation to achieve the best return on investment yields we have seen in the sector. Of the 28 system sizes we supply, our smallest uses only 500 square metres of floor area, yet the 20 tons annual harvest rate is the same as 8 acres of prime agricultural land. The bioponic live microbe based growing system delivers a major reduction in water use, with zero chemicals, pest issues or crop losses, and it can be installed in very close proximity to the end user ­ – all of which is fantastic for sustainable farming.” One CMG Group Sales Director David Stradling described the significance of the event for Australian agriculture. “GFIA In Focus is intended to help Australian agri-businesses share knowledge, so we can continue to develop sustainable farming into the future. There are some incredibly innovative technologies and practices out there, and we’re excited to host what’s going to be an inspiring and highly informative event for attendees.” Don’t miss out. Visit www.gfiaaustralia.com to register your attendance. Entry is free, but there are only 2,000 tickets available. Event details: GFIA In Focus Australia 27 November 2018: 09.00 – 18.00 28 November 2018: 09.00 – 16.00 Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre About GFIA The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture has emerged as a global authority on sustainable food production, driving innovation through exhibitions and conferences across the globe. GFIA exhibitions have welcomed more than 25,000 visitors, and worked with over 50 international partners to showcase innovative products with a proven benefit to the agricultural industry. Their conferences offer stakeholders pioneering forums and marketplaces to foster meaningful dialogue, collaboration, recognition and action between regional food producers, buyers, innovators, policy makers and investors. Media Enquiries: C7EVEN Communications Adam Arndell (02) 6766 4513 / 0403 372 889 adam.arndell@c7even.com.au Kate Munsie (02) 6766 4513 / 0421 935 843 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: David Smith, Ceres Tag CEO & Development Director John Leslie, Vertical Farm Systems Executive Director & Design Engineer Greenbox Appoints New CEO 2018-09-17T07:47:02Z greenbox-appoints-new-ceo Brisbane, Australia – September 17, 2018 – Australian IT asset lifecycle management company, Greenbox Systems, has appointed Phillip Dickman as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), with preceding CEO and Founder Shane Mulholland moving to the role of Executive Chairman. Greenbox manages its customers’ IT assets end-to-end, from pre-deployment and installation, right through critical data sanitisation and disposal to ensure sensitive information is effectively destroyed when a device is replaced. As CEO, Dickman will be responsible for managing Greenbox’s day-to-day operations, with a particular focus on the company’s sales strategy at a time when data security initiatives have accelerated as a result of expanding threats and government-imposed regulations. “The number of malicious and inadvertent threats to data security continues to increase, and organisations across all sectors – and especially government and large enterprise – are focused on minimising risk by protecting their assets both virtually and physically,” said Dickman. “The importance of these tactics is only compounded by initiatives such as the Notifiable Breach Disclosure (NBD) scheme and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which outline strict requirements for the way in which data is stored and handled, making accountability a top priority. “Greenbox has established a solid platform to help organisations protect sensitive information at all stages of its lifecycle – from the moment a device is installed, right through to its disposal. My objective is not only to maintain these comprehensive capabilities, but expand the company’s foothold in the Australian economy by executing on expansion targets, including partnerships with key technology vendors and systems integrators.” Dickman joins Greenbox with 20 years of experience in sales and executive leadership across the ICT and financial services industries. He was most recently National Sales Manager for Infrastructure Solutions at Data#3, a position in which he led a large team of sales executives with responsibility for working with Tier 1 vendors to jointly enable customer success. Dickman was also heavily involved in a digital start-up which went on to a successful ASX listing, and has been a key player in numerous major acquisitions at the publicly-listed technology firm, GBST. Having founded Greenbox and held the reins for 18 years, Mulholland now turns to his attention to the organisation’s long-term goals. “The combination of Greenbox’s position as a leader in IT lifecycle solutions and Phil’s extensive experience allows me to take a step back from working in the business to work on the business,” said Mulholland. “Greenbox’s continued growth is driven by a shift towards greater levels of accountability and cost efficiency around the asset lifecycle, particularly pre-deployment and end-of-use. Our strategic plan required a broadening of our product offering, and operational expansion by both organic and inorganic means. Phil’s success in driving revenues and managing mergers and acquisitions means he is ideally suited to achieve the required directives.” This change in executive leadership comes during a significant year for Greenbox. In March, it expanded its footprint with the opening of a government and Defence-certified IT Commissioning Centre in Canberra, the largest of its kind in Australia. The facility was launched by Australian Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP (now Minister for Defence). About Greenbox Systems Greenbox is a privately-owned IT asset lifecycle management company, with high-security facilities in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. It provides the government, defence, banking and education industries with end-to-end services across the technology lifecycle, including pre-deployment, connected configuration, deployment, asset recovery and data security. Greenbox has experience in some of Australia’s largest and most complex projects with stringent security requirements, driven by robust governance, ISO-certified processes, and accredited engineers. For more information visit www.greenbox.com.au. Australian agriculture set to benefit from Brisbane innovations event 2018-09-03T01:12:54Z australian-agriculture-set-to-benefit-from-brisbane-innovations-event Brisbane will soon play host to Australia’s largest agricultural innovation trade fair, GFIA in Focus (an offshoot of the internationally recognized Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture), scheduled for 27-28 November this year at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Designed to support the government’s ambition for Australian agriculture to become a $100 billion industry by 2030, the event will promote sustainable food production in what is one of the country’s premier states for fruit, vegetable and livestock production. With the QLD government supporting the national government strategy by announcing a doubling of state-wide agricultural output by 2040, the event will showcase hundreds of innovations in sustainable ag-tech across two key sectors: controlled environments & protected cropping and precision agriculture & smart farming. More than 2,000 visitors are expected from across Australia and the Asia Pacific for the two-day exhibition and conference – and the event is expected to drive a host of new opportunities for ag-tech suppliers, investors and food producers. Exhibitors will include some of Australia’s best start-ups and innovators, who will display and demonstrate the latest solutions for sustainable agriculture. As David Stradling, Sales Director of One CMG Group, the company behind the event explained, GFIA in Focus is set to be “a great opportunity for suppliers wanting to extend their market position through direct communication with farmers, growers, agribusinesses and distributors across the region.” For agri-food producers, the event will also be an invaluable showcase for hundreds of new products designed to improve productivity. “Whether producers want to increase yields, combat pests or save water, GFIA In Focus will be a rich source of inspiration for solutions that can help improve business processes and efficiency,” Mr Stradling continued. Lord Mayor of Brisbane Graham Quirk described the event as a great opportunity for businesses and entrepreneurs to gain information, advice and connections by hearing from industry experts across the region, while also generating $2.3 million in economic impact for the city. “This is a significant step forward in the food and beverage production industry for our city. Brisbane is a growing hub for food and agricultural technology innovation, with a reputation for high-quality, clean and green products – and our position as the closest eastern seaboard capital city to Asia provides substantial supply chain advantages within the food production industry. There really is no better place to hold this event than right here in Australia’s New World City.” One CMG Group are giving away 2,000 tickets to food producers, policy makers, scientists and investors interested in attending. To register your attendance or to find out more, visit www.gfiaaustralia.com Sponsored and supported by Brisbane City Council, GFIA in Focus Australia is also proudly supported by AgriBusiness Australia, Growcom, Society of Precision Agriculture Australia, University of Queensland and Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation. Event details: GFIA In Focus Australia 27 November 2018: 09.00 – 18.00 28 November 2018: 09.00 – 16.00 Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre Media Enquiries: C7EVEN Communications Adam Arndell (02) 6766 4513 / 0403 372 889 adam.arndell@c7even.com.au Kate Munsie (02) 6766 4513 / 0421 935 843 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: David Stradling, Sales Director of One CMG Group with James Pateras, Director at Modular Farms, Australia Previous GFIA Event Previous GFIA Event Tritium Signs Deal with IONITY for 100 High-Power Charging Sites Across Europe 2018-07-05T02:27:19Z tritium-signs-deal-with-ionity-for-100-high-power-charging-sites-across-europe Brisbane, July 5, 2018 - IONITY has chosen Tritium as its technology partner for the construction of 100 high-power charging sites across Germany, France, UK, Norway and Sweden. The dedicated electric vehicle (EV) charging stations will have an average of up to six user units, each capable of delivering 350 kW of power for fast charging of modern EVs. All will be equipped with the Combined Charging System (CCS) used by a wide range of vehicle manufacturers. IONITY is based in Munich and was founded in 2017; it is a joint venture of the BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group including Audi and Porsche. “We chose to partner with Tritium because they have a world-leading technology and have shown they can develop and deliver their products quickly,” said IONITY CEO Michael Hajesch. The deal follows closely on the installation of two new sites in Germany at Tank and Rast rest stops at Brohltal East and Brohltal West. As the first sites to go live for IONITY in Europe, these two sites each have six high-power user units and form part of a planned rollout of around 400 EV charging sites across Europe. This network will ensure EV owners will always have access to a high-power charging station within 120 km. “We already have a leading position in the European fast-charging market and could see that demand was really taking off, which is one of the reasons we recently opened our new sales, testing and assembly facility in Amsterdam,” said David Finn CEO and Founder at Tritium. “This deal with IONITY shows just how fast the transition to EVs is happening.” Each of the Tritium high-power chargers on the IONITY sites will deliver up to 350 kW, which can add 150 km of driving range to an EV in just five minutes. They include Tritium’s unique and innovative liquid-cooled technology and the complete charging infrastructure is extremely compact, typically up to 50%-75% smaller than other systems on the market. BYD deliver company outlook on the Australian energy storage market, launch new Low-Voltage Battery-Box 2018-03-28T03:14:48Z byd-deliver-company-outlook-on-the-australian-energy-storage-market-launch-new-low-voltage-battery-box On March 21, BYD, the world’s largest manufacturer of new energy vehicle and lithium iron phosphate batteries hosted a partner and industry event at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art to deliver the company’s overview of the global energy storage market. The roadmap for BYD’s energy storage operations within Australia also coincided with the launch of the new low-voltage (LV) Battery-Box (previously named “B-Box”) system. The New BYD Low-Voltage Battery-Box The latest iteration of the company’s Battery-Box LV offers a large leap in performance, producing between 3.5 and 14kWh based on a modular design, with exceptional depth of discharge (DOD), energy consumption, PV profile and backup functionality. Extending the battery in a parallel network can produce as much as 42 kWh. The New BYD Low-Voltage Battery-Box Launch Event “The low-voltage residential market requires flexibility, and the new Battery-Box LV is aimed firmly at providing that to Australian householders. At a competitive upfront investment, people can obtain a modular battery setup that allows for easy expansion, simple installation and is primed for use in Australia’s tough outdoor conditions,” said David Dai, BYD Battery-Box Chief Technology Officer. “There is huge potential here in Australia, and we are entering the market at a very exciting time. People are really warming to the idea of residential solar power, and governments are starting to take major steps towards a clean-energy future based around solar. BYD is excited to be a part of that,” said Julia Chen, Global Sales Director, BYD Batteries. BYD has invested heavily on research and development, propelling the company’s evolution from mobile device batteries to energy storage, electric vehicles and rail transit batteries. BYD has operated in Australia since February 2017, bringing the company’s high-voltage residential energy storage system, the Battery-Box, to market via a network of local distribution partners. Having enjoyed success over the past 12 months, the company will look to gain market share and local presence in 2018, starting with an expanded product portfolio. BYD also hosted a range of partners and industry stakeholders at the event, which includes a global energy storage market overview from Annabel Wilton, Distributed Energy Analyst for Australia at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The company will also acknowledge local partners who performed well for the company in 2017, underscoring BYD’s commitment to professional training, marketing promotion and continual technical and after-sales support for the Australian market. About BYD BYD Company Ltd. is a leading high-tech multinational company based in Shenzhen, China. Since its establishment in 1995, BYD has developed solid expertise in rechargeable batteries, becoming a relentless advocate of sustainable development. It has successfully expanded its renewable energy solutions globally with operations in over 50 countries and regions. After 23 years’ development, BYD has created a Zero Emissions Energy Ecosystem – affordable solar power generation, reliable energy storage, cutting-edge electrified transportation and a state of the art monorail – has made it an industry leader in the energy and transportation sector. BYD is listed on the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Stock Exchange. For more information, please visit http://www.byd.com. Airbnb Strangers Treating Homes With Disrespect 2018-03-20T13:35:40Z airbnb-strangers-treating-homes-with-disrespect Airbnbs are popping up like mushrooms after the rain. On the south east corner there are almost 10,000 people who have put up their investment to strangers. Many newbie hosts may be in for surprise when the electricity bill drops into their letter box. Sharyn Watson, director of Gold Coast-base electrical contractor Watmar, said many people when they are away on holiday are more cavalier with how they use power. “Because they are not paying the bill, people leave the doors open with the air con on or they even go out for the day, leaving the air con cooling an empty room,” she said. “It is all part of being on holiday, indulging in activities that you would not do at home because there are consequences – a higher than usual electricity bill. “You only need to go onto Airbnb’s community forum to see the volume of comments about increasing power costs.” Maria Hobbs, from Maria Hobbs Real Estate, said she manages an Airbnb and finds people can be very disrespectful of other people’s property. “I’ve seen the most unlikely people gladly cranking up the air conditioning, leave it on, complain it's not warm enough, cold enough and then go out leave it on, leave windows open with it on,” she said. “There is a sense of entitlement that comes with paying for a high-end rental for some reason. Treat nothing with respect and when it gets broken, the guest expects you to drop everything to fix it and then demand a refund.” People’s pain point with air con is the cost to run it and even more painful are units in Airbnb, hotels and motels where the owner cannot control whether the unit is on or off. Nicky Wood, owns an Airbnb 2-bedroom unit in Palm Beach “As an owner, it would give me peace of mind having a sensor on an appliance like an air com unit. That way I don’t have rely on leaving instructions for your guests,” she said. “As a local I am used to the weather but a guest from another country can find our summers really hot. They tend to leave the air con on even when they are out.” Sharyn agrees. “People go on holidays, check in, turn the air con onto 16, morning and night, leaving it there for the three days they’re away, snuggled up under the doona when it is 35 degrees outside, even though they know that is just chewing up power,” Sharyn said. “Imagine if you could have a sensor on the wall that detects movement in the room, turning the air con off is there is no one there?” Sharyn said there is such a device called Aircon Off. “Quite simply, Aircon Off will monitor a room to see if it's being used, if it’s not occupied for a pre-determined time and if the air conditioning is running, Aircon Off will automatically switch it off or if preferred to put it into economy mode,” she said. “This will save hosts thousands of dollars a year, slicing up to 50% off their power bill.” “Our personal experiences within the holiday rental industry have shown that up to 80% of air conditioning provided to clients was wasted on keeping empty rooms cool or hot. “A typical (2.5kw input KW/h) lounge room A/C split system currently costs up to 50c per hour to run. If it is running 70 hours a week that’s $160.00 per month.” https://www.watmar.net.au/