Herb grower joins Hort Innovation board

New members get onto Hort Innovation board

MEETING: The Hort Innovation annual general meeting taking place in Sydney earlier this month.

MEETING: The Hort Innovation annual general meeting taking place in Sydney earlier this month.


The Hort Innovation AGM saw the appointment of the new board for the next year.


HORT Innovation has settled on its board for the next year after completing what it labelled its "biggest year yet".

The members were elected at the annual general meeting in Sydney last week.

Within the movements, herb grower Jan Vydra joined for the first time, while Woolworths' Paul Harker returned, as did Professor Robert Clark.

Re-appointed Hort Innovation chair, Selwyn Snell, said 2018/19 financial year was a successful one.


"On top of utilising levy funding, we brokered millions in co-investment dollars from a range of partners and sources," he said.

"And we secured a significant amount of extra grant funding for investment, through various federal programs.

"In all, we turned around and invested more than $122 million on behalf of the horticulture sector, including Australian Government contributions, across some 600 projects.

"That is a record at close to $12 million more than the previous year. And I would like to thank all the growers and the industry bodies that helped make that happen."

One of the notable points to the board is that four of the eight positions are held by women.

The Hort Innovation board consists of:

  • Selwyn Snell, Qld (chair)
  • Dr Mary Corbett, Qld (deputy chair)
  • Julie Bird, SA
  • Professor Robert Clark AM, Tas
  • Susan Finger, Vic
  • Paul Harker, NSW
  • Stephen Lynch, Vic
  • Jenny Margetts, Qld
  • Jan Vydra, Vic

Mr Vydra is a first-generation farmer having co-founded Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs in 2008, and been involved in all aspects of operating the horticulture production company.

Mr Vydra was also awarded a Nuffield Scholarship in 2016, and received the Australian Young Farmer of the Year Award in 2011 as well as Rabobank Emerging Leader of the Year 2016.

Previous sitting director, Paul Harker, was re-elected after serving one term with the Hort Innovation board.

Mr Harker is currently the director of fresh foods and group replenishment for the Woolworths Group.

ELECTED: New board members, Paul Harker (returning), Rob Clark (returning) and Jan Vydra.

ELECTED: New board members, Paul Harker (returning), Rob Clark (returning) and Jan Vydra.

He leads a team of 300 people who source and buy fresh foods for 1000 Woolworths supermarkets in Australia and a team of 280 who manage the forecast and supply of product through from supplier to more than 2800 stores across the Woolworths Group.

Re-elected recruit, Professor Robert Clark was appointed as a director of Hort Innovation at its registration and re-appointed in November 2016.

He is an emeritus professor of agricultural science at the University of Tasmania.

Professor Clark is also a horticultural producer, as owner and managing partner of Lanoma Estate, 500 hectares of intensive agricultural properties in the Derwent Valley, Tasmania.

Mr Snell said each of the board members will bring their own set of skills to the RDC, as it worked toward helping Australian agriculture reach its goal of delivering $100 billion in production by 2030.

Dr Mary Corbett retained the deputy chair position.

The story Herb grower joins Hort Innovation board first appeared on Good Fruit & Vegetables.


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