The Australian Vegetable Industry Development Network was established by State Vegetable Industry Peak Bodies to assist the Australian vegetable industry in maximising the benefits of its investment in research and development (R&D).

This is achieved by enhancing communication and information flow between growers, researchers and other members of the vegetable industry.

The network began in 1998 and now comprises six Industry Development Officers (IDOs), with one officer in each state.

The National Vegetable Research & Development Levy is matched dollar for dollar by the Commonwealth Government (through Horticulture Australia Limited) and together they fund the network and the R&D program.

The IDOs' primary goal is to work closely with growers to determine the industry's R&D priorities, and then they pass this information on to researchers to ensure their future R&D work meets these priorities.

The IDOs also play a major role in coordinating the extension of information out from R&D programs, so that growers receive the information they need in a timely and useful manner.

In addition to regularly communicating with members of the vegetable industry, the IDOs also maintain frequent contact with the many other IDOs in horticultural industries throughout Australia.

The key objectives of the network are:
· Facilitate transfer and adoption of new technologies and practices that increase sustainability and profitability
· Increase grower awareness of and access to information sources and services
· Identify impediments to the progress of the industry and suggest potential solutions
· Assist industry in identifying and accessing opportunities locally, nationally and internationally
· To assist implementation of the Australian Vegetable Industry Strategic Development Plan and develop further strategies for the industry
· Encourage and facilitate communication throughout the vegetable industry, with particular emphasis on improving linkages between researchers and growers.

The IDOs undertake a diverse array of activities to help them achieve these objectives, however as the Australian vegetable industry varies significantly from state to state, each of the IDOs tailor their activities to the individual needs of their state. These activities include:

· Production and distribution of information through a variety of media, such as newsletters, magazine articles, targeted mail outs, web pages, email broadcasts, fax streams and numerous industry publications
· Assisting the national R&D approval process, including facilitating commodity and key investment area groups
· Assisting in the determination of state and national R&D priorities, and communicating these throughout the industry
· Organising, facilitating and assisting with workshops, field days, conferences, seminars and other industry events which contribute to the effective transfer of R&D outcomes
· Acting as a central point in their own state for coordinating and distributing information from interstate and overseas R&D programs
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