8 & 9 August: Pre-season Export Sessions

The ATGA will host pre-season export registration sessions in Mildura and Euston this August.

Growers and exporters are expected to attend one of these compulsory sessions, which will include vital information about the upcoming season, including previous export season statistics, updates to the export system and more.

Euston: Monday 8 August, Euston Club, time TBC.

Mildura: Tuesday 9 August, Mildura Working Man’s Club, time TBC.

Please email CEO Jeff Scott if you will be unable to attend.

19-20 May: Sunraysia grower sessions

Sunraysia grower sessions planned for 4 May will now be postponed due to delayed harvest and grower availability.

The ATGA team will provide growers an update on restricted spring growth, including testing and analysis conducted to date.
 New dates for the grower sessions are as follows:
Mildura & surrounding growers
When: Thursday 19 May, 4.30pm (refreshments provided)
Where: Department of Primary Industries, cnr Koorlong & 11th streets, Irymple

Euston/Robinvale growers:
When: Friday 20 May, from 8am (for breakfast), 8.30 meeting start
Where: Joe Garreffa’s shed, Taylor Rd, Euston

Contact Karen Connolly to RSVP on 0407 233 899 or by email.

ATGA board welcomes new members

The ATGA will welcome three new board members representing Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Zoë Dichiera, Robert Nugan and Anthony Cirillo were nominated by their regional associations and appointed to the board last night at the ATGA’s annual general meeting.

Zoë will become the delegate for Queensland.

Zoë is the commercial manager of Borderland Queensland Farm and Borderland (based in Victoria).

She has been involved in the industry for about 16 years, alongside her husband Nelson and his family’s property.

Zoe is the first woman to be appointed to the ATGA board. She said she looked forward to the opportunity.

“It will be good to use a creative way of thinking,” she said. “We’re all on the same page. We’re all coming together for the common good of the industry, and we all have the same aspirations.”

Robert Nugan will join the board as a Victorian delegate.

Robert is the executive chairman of Fresh Produce Group, which he established in 1991.

Robert has been involved in horticulture all his life and was “born and bred in the industry”, having started his career as a child working on his family’s citrus farm.

He was nominated to the board for his significant industry experience and skillset.

“I love the table grape industry,” Robert said. “Everyone has to give their time, and I’m hoping it’ll be an enjoyable journey.”

New South Wales gains Anthony Cirillo as a new state delegate. Anthony is a fourth generation grape grower. He and his family are now table grape grower-exporters. Their business Cirillo Farms is based in Paringi, NSW, with farms spread across Sunraysia.

They also have a transport and logistics wing of the business, Cirillo Transport.

“I’m very passionate about the table grape industry and always have been,” Anthony said. “I would like to help out in any way I can.”

Mark Leng has stepped down as state delegate for Queensland, and CEO Jeff Scott thanked Mark for his valued contribution to the board during his tenure.

7 September 2021 • Approved Employer info session

Concerned about finding workers for the upcoming and future seasons? Ever thought about becoming an approved employer?

The ATGA will facilitate – with the support of Agriculture Victoria – an approved employer workshop, with expert advice and information on Tuesday 7 September at 10am.

Join Approved Employers of Australia EO Steve Burdette, Plant Grow Pick director Mel Fangatua and DESE Seasonal Worker Program regional coordinators Sam Testa, Alastair Mitton and Adrian McMahon as they guide you through current workforce options and challenges, take a look at labour supply and demand, and demystify the process of becoming an approved employer.

Government to deliver on long-awaited ag visa

Media release

24 August 2021

The Australian Table Grape Association (ATGA) applauds yesterday’s momentous announcement by the Federal Government to deliver a dedicated agriculture-specific visa (ag visa).

CEO Jeff Scott welcomed the announcement as a critical step forward for Australia’s table grape growers.

“This is exciting news for the table grape industry,” Mr Scott said. “The ATGA has been working with government to establish a national ag visa for nearly two years.

“This announcement will go a long way to alleviating the challenges growers face in securing harvest labour.”

The Federal Government’s plans to have the visa in place by 30 September 2021 will be a satisfying relief to table grape growers concerned about securing their workforce for the upcoming season.

ATGA chair and Robinvale grower Jeremey Boyd said it was a “very positive” move, and said he and other growers eagerly awaited more detail to understand how the ag visa would practically function once operationalised.

“It is positive for the industry,” Mr Boyd said. “We look forward to hearing how it will be implemented within industry.”

Deputy chair and Irymple grower Rocky Mammone said industry had been “pushing” for a dedicated agricultural visa for many years, with the Covid-19 pandemic proving to be a mechanism for action.

“We’ve always been short on workers and we’ve been pushing for this,” Mr Mammone said. “Covid-19 has been the catalyst for this.

“We’re very happy with the announcement – it’s a step in the right direction.

“We look forward to being involved in the consultation process and we’ll be trying to push for a streamlined visa which is accessible to as many growers as possible.”

Mr Scott said the onus was now on state governments to establish quarantine pathways to ensure foreign workers could be safely accommodated.

“We now call on state governments to work with the federal governments in establishing quarantine pathways to ensure the success of this new visa,” Mr Scott said.


CEO Jeff Scott
0417 122 086

Export registration opens

The Australian table grape export registration system is now open.

CEO Jeff Scott opened export registration last week, and growers can read the Industry Advice Notice (IAN) here.

Growers and exporters with existing TG numbers would have received a notification from the system to commence registration, but all growers wishing to register for the first time should contact Jeff to set up a TG number and profile.

More information and housekeeping matters are available here.

To begin your registration, visit the export registration site.

Growers must have their crop monitor (at least one, but may be more) complete the 2021 Tocal College crop monitoring course

Registrations close 5pm Friday 27 August 2021.

Planned export registration sessions have been cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions, however Jeff is available to provide assistance to applicants on 0417 122 086 or email.

New benefits to eating grapes

A new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology has found grapes increased resistance to sunburn and reduced markers of UV damage.

The study’s subjects showed an increase in resistance to sunburn and reduced markers for UV damage.

“We saw a significant photoprotective effect with grape consumption and we were able to identify molecular pathways by which that benefit occurs — through repair of DNA damage and downregulation of proinflammatory pathways,” said Dr. Elmets.

“Grapes may act as an edible sunscreen, offering an additional layer of protection in addition to topical sunscreen products.”

Read about the study in the news.