The success of the 2015 Royal Melbourne Show has provided a boost to Victorian agriculture through high numbers of participation across blue ribbon competitions and connecting more than 440,000 visitors to the state’s booming agribusiness sector.
Also delivering an estimated $240 million in value to Victoria’s economy, The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) CEO, Mark O’Sullivan said the Royal Melbourne Show, as Victoria’s largest annual community event, plays an integral role in reinforcing rural identity and building bridges between rural and urban Victoria.
“Over 11 days, the Royal Melbourne Show has introduced its visitors to Australia’s leading growth industry. There is no doubt agribusiness is where local and international businesses are setting their sights. RASV is proud of its contribution to this, providing various platforms to showcase and celebrate excellence in the industry,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
With the State Government announcing last week Victorian food and fibre exports reached an all-time high of $11.6 billion in 2014-15, Victoria’s top agriculture event, the Royal Melbourne Show, is a critical platform for educating the public, promoting and benchmarking excellence in industry and identifying emerging talent in the agribusiness sector.
The Royal Melbourne Show received high competition entries across its blue-ribbon competitions, with a total of 25,000 entries processed by RASV this year, including those for Horses in Action, Royal Melbourne Show All Breeds Dog Championship, Art, Craft and Cookery and Livestock competitions.
Reinforcing its commitment to support youth in agriculture, RASV received significant entries from young participants across its range of competitions, including the new revised Dairy program and the Young Farmer’s Challenge.
“RASV is committed to rewarding those interested in and passionate about agribusiness and this has been reinforced with a series of scholarships for young people, including the new Dairy Youth Handlers Travel Scholarship,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
“It is encouraging to see an increase in youth engagement at this year’s Royal Melbourne Show and 2015 has seen record entries for the Young Farmer’s Challenge and high levels of schools’ participation across our Livestock competitions.”
RASV also welcomed more than 70 business delegates from China to this year’s Royal Melbourne Show ahead of hosting China as a Guest Nation at the 2016 Royal Melbourne Show.
“RASV recognise China as an emerging and important participant in Victoria’s agriculture industry and we will invite China to participate in the 2016 Royal Melbourne Show as an official guest nation, providing an opportunity to promote tourism and allowing Chinese agricultural industry participants and investors to meet with Victorian growers, producers and investors,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
With more than 440,000 people visiting the Show this year, a bumper weekend over Saturday, 26 and Sunday, 27 September saw a record 120,000 people through the gates. More than 60 per cent of visitors pre-purchased tickets online in a sign that the Royal Melbourne Show is a major destination event.
“The success of the 2015 Royal Melbourne Show is due to our many valuable principal partners, our excellent commercial exhibitors and caterers, our dedicated staff and volunteers and of course the blue-ribbon all stars and their talented handlers,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
“RASV is delighted to have welcomed hundreds of thousands of people to the Royal Melbourne Show this year to experience the very best in agriculture, award-winning food and drink and world-class live entertainment.”