Those most passionate about WA’s horticulture industry gathered at Ascot Racecourse to discuss the future of the industry at a time when labour shortages and technology are dominating conversations. Held every two years, the Western Australian Horticulture Update brings together industry players to provide insight into the changing global food production landscape, and allows attendees to network and hear from leading industry leaders in the field. The focus of this year’s update — held on October 31 and November 1 — was on practical technology innovation and applications to improve horticulture practices from the grower to the consumer. Opening the conference, WA Agriculture Minister Jackie Jarvis said the event was the perfect opportunity to celebrate the industry. “We celebrate what we do in WA . . . and you, the growers and those in the supply chain,” she said. “Every link ,from grower to supply chain, has a critical role to play. “The horticulture sector in WA at a wholesale level is worth about $1.5 billion . . . but by the time you take into (account) the supply chain, it adds about $3b to our economy each year.” The conference coincides with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s annual biosecurity blitz, which runs from October 16-November 16 and encourages people to report pests using the MyPestGuide app. The value of Australia’s horticulture industry is expected to rise 22.5 per cent by 2030.