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CEO report UPFRONTChanges & CHALLENGESWinter brings no respite, but instead ramps up with events and changes.Words Stephen Brown, vegetablesWA CEO“ We are now firmly focused on planning our Hort Update in spring”WEare all fresh back from Hort Connections in Adelaide. We had a strong WA contingent representing our state, which was good to see. Read our trend round-up from p43.Those at the conference and some growers in WA would have met Katrina for the first time. She replaces Michael Bartholomew in the VegNet project and has taken on the role of Fair Farm’s state-based representative.Katrina has been a long-time advocate for our industry, and is passionate about working with you to find where we can collaborate for your, and the wider industry’s, benefit. So, if she rings and would like to pay you a visit, please make her feel welcome and give her some time.We are now firmly focused on planning our Hort Update event in spring (October 31 to November 1). At the time of going to print, we were locking in speakers and we are currently calling for event sponsors and trade fair exhibitors. Please see our news item on WAHU 2023 in our News section (from p12) with all the contacts you need to get involved in the state’s biggest hort event.You may have all heard the big announcement last month about evokeAG being staged in Perth in 2024. This is a very big win for Western Australia as a state, but also for the horticulture and wider agricultural industries. We will reveal more about this in our Spring issue of WA Grower. Two big releases have occured since my last report: the Worksafe Inquiry into the Agricultural Industry in Western Australia and the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021. These signify plenty of challenges and potential changes to adopt into our business processes. We will be talking more about these changes once we have more information at hand to share with you.You may have heard that vegetablesWA celebrates 75 years this year. Established in 1948, the organisation has been supporting the vegetables industry in WA for 75 years. We’ve seen the move to the mechanisation of hort, and now we are seeing AI and robotics enter the industry. We partnered with Stonefruit WA to bring you a story on one of the pioneering families of WA horticulture and fresh produce export (from p21).Until next time, reach out for any advocacy, advice and collaborative projects. I wish you a successful winter.