European and United Kingdom wildflower market study tour
Lana Mitchell is a commercial cut-flower grower and a pioneer of the Australian wildflower industry, having bred and achieved plant breeding rights for ‘White Romance’ the tallest and largest flannel flower on the market.
Lana ‘s Award ambition was twofold: to support the Australian wildflower industry through better communication and collaboration and to move beyond an emerging industry and to take Australian wildflowers into the European market.
Lana’s Award project involved an international study tour to Europe and the United Kingdom to study two successful business models, the Flower and Plant Association of the UK and the Flower Council of Holland. She extended the tour to include Israel, world leaders in flower production, to learn from their research and development and marketing and promotion efforts.
As a direct result of the study tour, Lana concluded that without a compulsory marketing levy, as is currently the case in Australia, the marketing models of both the UK and Holland are not adaptable or workable in Australia.
However Lana believed that the establishment of New Rural Industries Australia, a new organisation set up to better coordinate and collaborate production and marketing information across new rural industries, would provide the ideal vehicle for the Australian wildflower industry. Lana was appointed a Director of NRIA and editor of their magazine.
Lana’s project delivered an Australian first. The project was been successful in securing a permit from the Israeli government for export of flannel flowers into their country. A licensed propagation company will supply growers with mother stock, to enable build-up of sufficient volume to export flowers from Israel into Europe. The logistics and cost entailed meant that export through Israel was the only option. The agreement would see Australian wildflowers penetrate the European market, and so creating recognition for Australian flora and building demand for Australian wildflowers.