As 'The Fresh Food People', Woolworths Group relies on our farmers, suppliers, and regional teams to deliver quality produce to Australians.
Woolworths has partnered with Nuffield Australia for over a decade and is proud to contribute to the personal development of exceptional leaders - helping to grow the capability of the Australian agricultural sector. Nuffield scholars support Woolworths' efforts to create a better tomorrow by harnessing opportunities that can have a positive impact on our teams, our planet, our products and the communities we serve.
2024 Nuffield Scholar
Improving quality and sustainability of seed potatoes
Justin DellaZoppa sees big things for potato farming in Australia.
Justin’s property, DellaZoppa Farms in South Australia's Riverland, produces citrus, shallot, onions, canola seed, wheat, barley, oats – and seed potatoes. He has seen firsthand how effective new technology can be in assisting the growth and development of seed potatoes and mini tubers.
“Technology can transform agriculture,” Justin says.
“Given the demographic of farming across Australia, many smallholder farmers are inexperienced with technology making it more difficult for them to adopt technology without support.”
“Technology can spot early symptoms of disease, water stress and soil degradation by reducing the guesswork in farming. Smart agriculture enables crops to reach their full potential without the excessive use of chemicals or water.”
Justin’s 2024 scholarship, supported by Woolworths, will take him to the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Spain, northern France and Belgium.
Justin has seen new tech be demonstrated, but not adopted. He is interested in autonomous disease detection, plant monitoring, robot sprayers, tractors, drones, optical grading lines and cool storage.
“There is better grading equipment out there that can address labour shortages in Australia, which isn’t being widely used mainly because of the costs."
Justin looks forward to sharing his research with other growers and engaging across his sector, accelerating the adoption of new ways to optimise potato yields.
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