By Matthew Lunn – EO Nursery & Garden Industry Western Australia (NGIWA)
As the financial year draws to a close, NGIWA has thankfully survived another twelve months of unrest with COVID19. It has only been as recent as March that the state government lifted border restrictions. Despite this, life has not returned to normal for the nursery industry.
The last two years have seen a rise in the interest in gardening, and greenlife sales have benefitted hugely. On the downside, lack of staff and an increase in pressure on materials has seen an industry chasing its tail for most of the past twelve months.
Advocacy has played a pivotal role in the past few years, centred predominantly around pushing the government to acknowledge our industry as an essential service.
Despite ongoing requests to give our group the important tick of approval, when lockdowns were threatened, the state government provided very little guidance, particularly to those operating retail outlets. In truth, the industry just kept going and navigated its way through almost weekly changes to restrictions placed on our businesses.
Thankfully, those days now seem well behind us and the new financial year looks like we can start with a clean slate and the association can look forward to another twelve months of strong support for its members, as well as working closely with Greenlife Industry Australia and their new CEO Joanna Cave.
High on our list is galvanising our industry here in WA. The playing field has changed over the past 30 years when associations like ours were once the go-to for information. Mr Google and the rise in popularity of online shopping has seen the association having to rethink how it does business in order for it to still be attractive to those in wholesale and retail.
There is no magic answer but keeping the association relevant and innovative, as well as providing a high level of customer service, will go a long way in NGIWA enjoying future years to come.