It’s a wrap: Australia’s largest ever agricultural innovation trade fair concludes – but there’s 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 (Production) for Vietnamese farm group VinEco 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 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, CEO 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