The inaugural Australian Assurance Summit held in Sydney earlier this month and hosted by Freshcare bought together our broad stakeholder groups from across Australia to discuss challenges, opportunities and solutions for horticulture, wine-grape and supply chain industries.

Freshcare CEO Jane Siebum hailed the success of the event, which featured informative and thought-provoking presentations from subject experts across broad ranging industry stakeholders.

“Being our first Summit, we were extremely pleased with the positive feedback from participants and how much they valued the opportunity.

“We’re truly excited to have brought together a wide range of stakeholders to generate discussion and exchange of ideas, and to hear their views on the best way forward for our industries and Freshcare.

“Our fantastic speaker line-up covered a wide range of topics, but the overarching theme was one of being solutions focused and getting the narrative correct for our sectors.”

It’s difficult to choose a highlight from the event, as all contributions to the Summit speaker and panel sessions were insightful, engaging, offering key insights into the broad ranging disciplines and industries Freshcare works with.

Keynote speaker Craig Reucassel Australian writer and comedian called out the need for us all to think about our choices and look for innovative ways to reduce waste.  Speakers such as Carolyn Reid and Gillian Reilly spoke to the values consumers express and the gap that sometimes exists between attitudes and actions. Contributions from growers and businesses working across the sectors offered some “real-world” insight into the realities, challenges and innovations happening on Australian farms today.

Listen to ABC Country Hour’s LIVE broadcast from The Summit! 
ABC’s Michael Condon interviews: Lucy Gregg (AusVeg), Dr Alexandra Bratanova (CSIRO), Andy Chambers (AirBorne Logic), Shannon Kirsten (OzGroup), Susan Daly (2022 Farmer of the Year)

The Summit Dinner in ‘The Barn’ was a great chance for delegates to enjoy the unique venue, network and listen to an inspiring and passionate presentation from Australian horticulturalist icon Costa Georgiadis.

Some common themes throughout the conference included:

  • Sustainability and trends in market driven assurance.
  • Engaging the community and customers food production.
  • The balance between maintaining profitability and compliance. 
  • Traceability and provenance.
  • New and emerging technologies that underpin trust in agricultural products.
  • Emerging export markets and future assurance focus.
  • Growers Social Licence and building relationships with consumers and communities.

During the Summit the delegates collaborated through a workshop on day 2, which examined key areas of Freshcare’s focus moving towards our Vision 2023.

Freshcare’s findings will be published in a report early 2024, which will help to shape Freshcare’s strategy.

“We are absolutely delighted with the outcomes of our first Summit, and look forward to taking the insights and ideas forward and incorporating them into Freshcare’s own strategy and projects.

“We feel that we achieved the Summit’s objective to facilitate discussion about how to better embrace an assurance mindset, engender a broad sense of optimism and foster confidence in the assurance systems in place” said Ms Siebum.

We are extremely grateful to our sponsors who supported us in delivering this event.

Freshcare Chairperson, Allan Dall announced in his closing speech at the Summit that the event will be held again in 2025.

We hope to see you at The Summit!