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Expert speakers headline Hort Connections conference program

The southern hemisphere’s largest horticulture conference is less than three months away, with a program boasting local and international horticulture experts, representatives from government, agrifinance and more.

Following a sell-out show in Adelaide last year, Hort Connections 2024 will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 3-5 June, bigger than ever and staying true to the event’s theme for 2024 of ‘Grow. Connect. Thrive.’

Hort Connections 2024 will bring together more than 3,500 horticulture industry professionals to experience first-hand the latest offerings from leading local and international exhibitors, and hear from expert speakers about industry trends, research and innovations.

“Hort Connections is the must-attend event on the Australian horticulture industry’s calendar,” said AUSVEG National Manager – Events and Partnerships Nathan McIntyre.

“The Hort Connections conference program and affiliated events such as the Annual Vegetable Industry Seminar give attendees access to groundbreaking research and the latest trends from industry experts, and are an unparalleled opportunity to network with others in the Australian horticulture industry.”

This year’s conference program will be emceed by Olympic gold medalist swimmer and TV presenter Giaan Rooney, and headlined by plenary speakers Lucy Bloom, former CEO of Sunrise Cambodia and Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, and Su McCluskey, the inaugural Special Representative for Australian Agriculture at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Growers looking to attend this year’s event can again benefit from the Grower Funding initiative. Levy-paying horticulture growers can apply to be reimbursed up to $1,000 for eligible Hort Connections expenses, including your Grower Conference Access Pass, flights and accommodation.

The Grower Funding program was introduced at Hort Connections last year, enabled by support from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

“While it’s tough for many to be away from the farm, the Grower Funding program is a great avenue for financial support to help growers access the many opportunities on offer at Hort Connections,” said Mr McIntyre.

To learn more and apply for Grower Funding, visit

Hort Connections 2024 will also host the Horticulture Awards for Excellence 2024. Presented throughout the conference, the Awards are a celebration and opportunity for recognition of the game-changing improvements and achievements made by exceptional individuals and companies within the horticulture industry.

Award nominations for 10 different categories are open for growers, supply chain operators, marketers, researchers and other industry members until 29 April 2024.

“Australian horticulture has a long history of innovation and exceptional contributions from those who work in the industry,” said Mr McIntyre.

“We encourage everybody in the horticulture industry to nominate the sector’s shining lights, and give them the recognition they deserve.”

Hort Connections 2024 conference tickets are still available. To learn more about the conference program and register, visit

As the must-attend fixture on the Australasian and international horticulture calendar, Hort Connections is a joint initiative between AUSVEG and the International Fresh Produce Association Australia New Zealand (IFPA-ANZ)

For more information about Hort Connections, including key convention partners, and to register for the event, please visit

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