HIA chief executive John Lloyd(pictured) said the number of registered voters for the AGM were some of the horticulture industry's largest levy payers.
"They represent, according to Link Market Services, between 30 and 40 per cent of the value of horticulture production in Australia," Mr Lloyd
was bound by the Government's Statutory Funding Agreement and if growers and peak industry bodies wanted change they would need to approach the Government.
encouraged them to do that through the Voice of Horticulture lobby group.
Defence of marketing program
also defended HIA's
'point-of-sale' marketing program, despite it not being ready in time for the start of the cherry harvest.
said it was consultative and did deliver.
"I think the cherry program is $350,000 to $400,000," Mr Lloyd
But Mr Lloyd
said the horticulture industry was already fragmented, and HIA's role was not to consolidate industry.
suggested all the disgruntled groups become members of the new Voice of Horticulture lobby, to vote on changes and be one voice in taking those changes to the Federal Government.
Today's AGM, in the meantime, is expected to be a controlled affair, with questions submitted weeks in advance for approval, and the majority of smaller, disgruntled growers choosing not to attend.
said Horticulture Innovation Australia
had delivered on many reforms to help the $9 billion horticulture sector grow, including a new fruit fly program, developing young industry leaders, opening markets for produce in Asia, from Jordan to Japan, and promoting the value of greening cities, to the benefit of garden nurseries and turf production which represent 20 per cent of domestic turnover of the horticulture sector.