VegDoctor is 2017 Churchill Fellow

Hazel completed a Churchill Fellowship* including a study tour of Europe in early/mid 2018 to investigate the opportunities to incorporate more fruit and vegetables into value-added, convenient, healthy foods.  She focused on opportunities relevant to Australian fruit and vegetable producers, especially around value-adding and utilisation of more of the crop.

You can download her report by clicking here (downloadable pdf).

A Churchill Fellowship provides an opportunity for Australian Citizens to travel overseas in search of new ideas, innovation and excellence!  The Churchill Trust was established in 1965 to honour the memory of Sir Winston Churchill the great world leader, and provides a pathway for Fellows to access industry and community leaders from across the world, enabling the exchange of knowledge, technology and experience for the benefit of Australian Society. For more information see:

#VegInnovations2018 has finished for another year

The VegInnovations2018 Regional Roadshow (supported by Hort Innovation using the vegetable research and development levy and funds from the Australian Government) is now complete (check out for more info).  This includes a fabulous all-new “How-To Innovate with Vegetables” Guide – downloadable from that website.veginnovation guide logo

The 6 workshops (Tas, Adelaide, Perth, Gatton, Victoria x 2) were presented by Hazel MacTavish-West and Susie White, and well attended by growers and the wider vegetable industry.   We had some fabulous local speakers at each event too, ranging from a teenage egg marketer to a lupin flour producer and a flavoured crunchy cheese maker.

If the feedback is to be believed, there was a 26% increase in knowledge and understanding of the opportunities and requirements to add value to whole, fresh vegetables, potentially increasing the confidence of growers to venture into this space.  This could potentially increase usage and consumption of Australian-grown vegetables.  Specific feedback:

  • This day is the creative business reboot workshop that every farmer and food industry professional needs to attend, in order to understand the achievable solutions to the farm and fresh produce issues you don’t know you actually have.
  • Workshop was very informative and valuable. Very impressed by examples and experience shared by Hazel from overseas!
  • This event is a must for all members of the vegetable supply chain.
  • This was a great chance to meet with other industry members and learn more about creative and positive thinking.
  • Exceptionally insightful, useful and interesting.
  • A great day to not only talk about new ideas in the value add sector but to learn the techniques to best implement them.
  • A sensational summary of global insights and tools for product development that provides actions to take away.
  • Well done VegInnovation- Great initiative, I’ll be back!!
  • The energy from the presenters and in the room was fantastic.
  • Hazel and Susie are knowledgeable and enthusiastic, you can’t help but feel energised about Veginnovations.
  • Great information with real examples and lots of interactive elements and great presentation. I learnt so much.
  • I’ve been to a VegInnovations workshop before and the new information and format of this event was even better.
  • Excellent blend of theory, practical exercises and case studies provided for a useful and highly informative workshop. Presenters highly knowledgeable and lively delivery of information.
  • The session provided value affirmation that our strategy and objectives for new export markets is focused and sustainable.
  • If you have an idea and don’t know how to make it happen come along to this workshop to learn how to get it done.
  • Great presentations with a huge amount of information given in a fun and interesting way.
  • Highly motivational, informative and practical content. I’m bloody excited!
  • Great day with heaps of ideas and possibilities. Thanks for information sharing.


If you are interested in hosting a similar event in your area, or on a wider topic (not just vegetables), get in touch.

Thanks to VegNet and Hort Innovation for all their assistance.