The Australian Assurance Summit ProgramNov 2023

The Australian Assurance Summit program reflects the current opportunities, challenges and emerging needs of the diverse range of stakeholders Freshcare supports.

Freshcare’s certification programs provides Australian producers, businesses and consumers with the confidence and assurance their products are safe, high-quality and sustainable. Assurance impacts every step of our fresh produce and wine supply chain, from paddock – to pallet – to plate.

Through a process of consultation, Freshcare has created an interesting and engaging program which provides insight from industry leaders, while also creating opportunities for collaboration, networking and idea sharing.

Our program itinerary provides opportunities for live Q&A, discussion and networking. We look forward to collaborating with you on the key topics effecting our sectors.

Key Themes


Global Assurance


Domestic and International


Future Customer and Consumer Expectations


Tech and Innovation


Empowering Growers Social Licence and Right to Farm


Emerging Export Markets


ESG and Sustainability


Risk Mitigation and Green Lending


Risk Mitigation and Green Lending

Monday 13th November

5.30pm – Welcome Reception proudly supported by Sydney Markets

As a complimentary inclusion in the full delegate package, you’re invited to our sunset drinks and canapes reception on Monday evening prior to the Summit opening.

To be held in the ‘two-fig’ arena of The William Inglis Hotel, we invite guests arriving Monday evening to register early, collect their conference passes and attend our networking welcome event.

Sydney Markets has been a dedicated partner in making this event possible, and we are grateful for their support.

Guest speaker The Hon. Tara Moriarty, MLC Minister for Agriculture; Minister for Regional New South Wales; Minister for Western New South Wales.

Tuesday 14th November

Registration from 8am in the foyer of The William Inglis Hotel.

The Summit begins at 9am in The William Inglis Hotel ‘Sales Arena’.

Insights and Inspirations: War on Waste – Keynote Speaker – Craig Reucassel

Craig Reucassel is an Australian writer and comedian who is best known for his work with The Chaser and for going through your bins on The War on Waste. We look forward to Craig’s keynote opening at the Summit!

Meeting the Future: Understanding Customer & Consumer Expectations

Horticulture, fresh produce supply chains and wine grape industries are largely driven by customer and consumer demands. We look at the emerging domestic and international trends, expectations and how sustainability, cost and food security play a part.

Session speakers include Tim Kane from ABARES; Gillian Reilly from Hort Innovation; and Carolyn Reid from Kantar Insights Australia; with Q & A to be hosted by Freshcare Chairperson Allan Dall.


– Morning Tea & Exhibitor Networking –


From Local to Global: Emerging Industry Trends & Market Access Realities

What is currently driving commercial and market access domestically and internationally? We dive into the current challenges and opportunities facing businesses on farms, in the supply chain and throughout our horticulture and wine grape industries.

Session speakers include Lucy Gregg from AUSVEG; Joseph Saina from Australian Horticulture Trade; and Andrew Redman from Perfection Fresh Australia; with Q & A to be hosted by Freshcare Director Jane Lovell.

– Lunch Break & Exhibitor Networking –


Freshcare Forward: Program & Strategic Updates for a Sustainable Future

We are excited to share with you Freshcare’s current and future projects, that will positively affect our participants and industry. We’ll discuss how resilience, adaptation and rigorous third-party verification can help future-proof our industries.

Session Speakers include Freshcare Chairperson Allan Dall; and Freshcare CEO Jane Siebum.

Dr Mardi Longbottom from AWRI provides insights on Sustainable Winegrowing Australia.

Melissa Smith from Stop Food Waste Australia presents opportunities for the horticulture industry.


– Afternoon Tea & Exhibitor Networking –


Australia’s Export Opportunities: Government & Industry Focus

Where are the next big export market opportunities for Australian producers and what are Government and Trade Departments focusing on? What part can third-party assurance programs play in opening the doors to export market access?

Session Speakers include Dr Mila Bristow from Hort Innovation; Yemee Fernandes from Four Pillars Trading; and Anne Maree Weston an Agri Consulting Specialist.

The Great Discussion – Industry Challenges and Opportunities

This interactive session will include a panel discussion with representatives from across the sector.

Submit your questions and topics for discussion here!

Session Speakers include Viticulturist – Liz Riley; National Compliance Manager – Graeme Ison;  AgriClimate Specialist – Andrew Ward; Certification Body General Manager – Bruce Gormley; and Freshcare CEO Jane Siebum.


The conference day one concludes, to be followed by The Summit Dinner in ‘The Barn’ of The William Inglis Hotel.

6.30pm The Summit Dinner

We look forward to welcoming our special dinner guest speaker – COSTA GEORGIADISSilver Logie awarded presenter of Gardening Australia (ABC). A landscape architect, environmental educator and television presenter, Costa has an absolute love for plants and people. Costa’s charm, charisma and passion make him a particularly appealing public speaker who has a gift for making his important messages engaging and highly entertaining.

The Summit Dinner is a complementary inclusion for all guests with a full delegate package. Extra Dinner tickets can be purchased for partners or guests at the time of booking.

Wednesday 15th November

Insights and Inspirations: CSIRO Mega Trends Research – Keynote Speaker – Dr Alexendra Bratanova

This session will unpack the findings of the milestone CSIRO report Our Future World and raise questions for the fresh produce leaders on what might lie ahead for growers and consumers which features seven global megatrends out to 2042.

Global megatrends are deep-set trajectories of change that unfold over decades and have the potential for substantial and transformative impact on businesses, communities and governments in Australia and around the world.

Tech and Innovation: Empowering Growers, Mitigating Risks, and Informing Decision Making

Much of Agritech developments have been created by growers and professionals with first-hand on-farm experience. How is innovative technology assisting growers with implementing assurance programs and traceability? How is data driving change and informing decision-making? What’s being achieved and how can tech solutions become more accessible?

Session speakers include Dr. Gordon Rogers and the team from AHR and Hitachi, discussing New digital tools to remotely quantify horticulture’s environmental credentials.

Andy Chambers from Airborne Logic with cutting-edge technology and analysis from airborne surveys, providing detailed analysis of crops, surface, and vegetation conditions.

Katherine Campbell from Source Certain on traceability in supply chains and how businesses can communicate the story of origin along with credentials to consumers all over the world.


– Morning Tea & Exhibitor Networking –


Securing the Social Licence to Operate: Safeguarding our Industry, Gaining Recognition and Strengthening Claims.

How can assurance programs continue to support growers operating, producing and accessing markets with increasing pressure from climate events, regulation, sustainability demands, urban sprawl and pressure on supply chains? How can we strengthen the claims of fresh produce businesses to safeguard our industries?

Session speakers include Belinda Hazell OAM from Optimum Standard; Richard Shannon from NFF Hort Council; and Shannon Kirstein from Oz Group Co-op; with Q & A to be hosted by Freshcare Director Jane Lovell.


Protecting Crops and Safeguarding Consumers: Discussion with the APVMA & FSANZ.

This session will allow for a discussion and Q & A from the audience. Delving into how regulations and Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) are set by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and exploring the role of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) in ensuring that crops meet the necessary safety standards before they reach consumers.

The session will be introduced by Gail Woods from Fresh Markets Australia. Session speakers include James Deller from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA); and Tracy Hambridge from Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

– Lunch Break & Exhibitor Networking –


Certification Insights: Q&A with Program Owners.

This is your chance to ask questions of your Certification Program Owners in a panel discussion including representatives from Freshcare; SQFI and HARPS.

Session Speakers include Gigi Vita from SQF International; Tristan Kitchener from HARPS; Jane Siebum from Freshcare Ltd; with Q & A to be hosted by Freshcare Director Graham McAlpine.

Interactive session – submit your pre-event questions and topics for discussion here.


Towards Sustainable Retailing: Understanding Australian Retailers’ ESG Priorities.

Retailer representatives discuss the future, opportunities, challenges and how they will measure success.

Session speakers include Anna Stewart, Head of Sustainability Governance and Engagement at Coles Group; and Jason Robertson, Director of Sustainability and Impact from the Australian Retailers Association.


– Afternoon Tea & Exhibitor Networking –

Your Voices Unite: Workshopping Critical Sector Challenges.

Interactive session – submit your questions and topics for discussion here!

This is your space to discuss and collaborate on key questions, challenges and issues facing our fresh produce and wine sectors in a focused session.

This is your opportunity to share ideas and solutions in cross-discipline groups. Through your feedback, Freshcare will develop an industry “snapshot” report in early 2024.


Reflecting on Two Days of Growth: Wrap-up and Key Takeaways.

End of Day Two: Summit Close 5pm.


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