The Australian Table Grape Association (ATGA) board welcomed two new delegates last week, following its 2022 annual general meeting.
Two long-term industry supporters will join the board, following the departure of ATGA trailblazers Nick Muraca and David Agg.
Robinvale grower Don Albanese and Riverland grower Bill Avery will join as Victorian and South Australian delegates respectively.
Don is a second-generation table grape grower with more than 27 years’ growing experience, while Bill Avery has managed operations and agronomy for corporate table grape businesses during his 34-year industry career.
Don said he felt compelled to be involved and support the industry association.
“I’ve been in the Robinvale & District Table Grape Growers Association for 8-9 years, and I’ve liked being involved,” Don said. “The industry is in a tricky situation – if you’ve got something to add, it’s important to join where you can. The industry benefits if everyone is doing well!”
Bill is the farm manager of Talia Farms in the Riverland and said the opportunity came up “purely by chance”, with David keen to “spend more time fishing and yabbying”.
Bill said during his career with, he’d had the opportunity to travel widely and learn about operations internationally, and he echoed the importance of supporting industry when possible.
As the largest table grape grower in South Australia, Bill is keen to fly the flag for the state’s growers, particularly given the potential for land development and expansion in the region.
“I’ve worked with Hort Innovation’s predecessor (Horticulture Innovation Australia) in the early days, when I was the national grape category agronomist with Costa Group, and I would really like to have some input into industry’s strategic planning,” Bill said.
ATGA CEO Jeff Scott welcomed Don and Bill to the board, and farewelled industry stalwarts Nick Muraca and David Agg.
“Nick and David have been involved in the ATGA since before its inception,” Jeff said. “Their contribution to the formation of the national body and their passion for the industry has been instrumental. The ATGA board and team thank them both for their service to industry.”
“Bill and Don are long-time industry players and both have been welcome delegates.”