Giants star would be “pretty embarrassed” by effort after labelling side “hopeless”

Kane Cornes has highlighted a non-tackle from Stephen Coniglio after the GWS captain labelled his side “hopeless” during Thursday night’s 41-point loss to Sydney.

Coniglio delivered an honest assessment of the Giants’ one-goal first half performance when speaking to Fox Footy at the main break.

“Hopeless really,” the Giants star said.

“We’ve got to get in there and find an answer. We’ve been in this position twice in two weeks. (We’ve) got to find something now.

“They want it more than us. They’re carving us up going forward. It’s simply not good enough.”

Cornes says Coniglio would be “pretty embarrassed” by a missed tackle 15 seconds into the third quarter after his strong comments at half-time.

“So he called it hopeless, let’s look at his first effort straight after half-time,” the Port Adelaide champion told Channel Nine’s Sunday Footy Show.

“15 seconds into the third quarter and that’s (Luke) Parker v Coniglio. He just has to be better and you might say it’s harsh but as the captain of the footy club you’ve got to stick that (tackle) and make a statement to start the second half if you call everyone else hopeless.

“We all like Stephen Coniglio but that effort he’d be pretty embarrassed about.

“I’m not critical of him being honest, I love it. But you’re the captain of the footy club you’ve got to stick that tackle, there’s no excuses for it.

“When you make comments like that you’ve got to back it up and just in that instance he didn’t.

“It wasnt one (tackle), the effort from the Giants – and it was their senior players … I could have shown 15 clips.

“(Lachie) Whitfield missed tackles, (Nick) Haynes missed tackles, the ball use was poor. I just think that comes as a result of a lack of leadership from the Giants.”

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Flower industry concerned about bloom imports and biosecurity fights for Australian-made labelling

Local flower growers have come up with their own Australian-grown label, as pressure mounts on the Federal Government to mandate country-of-origin labelling for imported flowers.

Flower growers are concerned about the high volume of imports and the biosecurity risks they bring, and said consumers deserve to know where flowers are grown.

New South Wales flower grower, Sal Russo, helped launch the label and said more than 16 Australian growers are already using it on their packaging.

“We’ve spent in excess of four years trying to make this registered trademark, called Australian Grown Flowers,” Mr Russo said.

He said that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had already approved the label.

Florists looking local

Australian flower growers created the registered trademark, Australian Grown Flowers, in December 2018.(Supplied)

Mr Russo said a “growing number” of florists had since chosen to use the label because they believed customers were becoming “more concerned about where their flowers are coming from”.

Each year, Australia imports millions of flower stems — mainly roses, chrysanthemums and carnations — from countries such as Kenya, Ecuador, Colombia and Malaysia.

Those imports are sold everywhere from supermarkets to florists and petrol stations.

National farm lobby groups and many growers are concerned about the number of flowers found with foreign pests and diseases when they arrive in Australia.

But the Federal Department of Agriculture said those numbers had decreased and that no pests or diseases from imported flowers had made it past quarantine inspectors.

The ABC understands the Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has written to the Federal Industry Minister, Karen Andrews, asking for country of origin labelling to be made compulsory for imported flowers.

The government is reviewing country of origin labelling, and is considering what other products it should be compulsory for.

A man is standing in a row of flowers holding bunches in his arms.
Sydney flower grower, Aldo Vumbaca, first started trialling the Australian grown label last year at a local market.(Supplied: Aldo Vumbaca)

Trialling the label

Sydney flower grower, Aldo Vumbaca, has been in the flower trade for more than 40 years and first started trialling the Australian grown label last year at a local market.

The Victorian Flower Industry has backed the move and hoped it will give consumers more awareness, particularly given imports have dropped due to the pandemic.

Flowers Victoria Chair, Michael van der Zwet, said with the low number of imports during COVID-19, the Australian grown label might help promote local growers.

“I’m a great believer in the Australian psyche to buy Australian,” Mr van der Zwet said.

“I think when the public learns that there’s a lot more flowers grown within Australia, I’m sure we’ll be supported.”

‘Australian voice for Australian grown’

Victorian grower, Danielle White, has produced paddock-grown roses and peonies on her property in central Victoria for the past five years.

A bunch of large pink chrysanthemums.
Flower imports have dropped during COVID-19.(Supplied: Aldo Vumbaca)

She said during COVID-19 business had been slow because wedding flower orders had dried up.

But during the downtime, Ms White connected with local and larger growers in the industry, with positive results.

In recent months, larger growers have reached out to Consortium Botanicus members.

They have since formed the Flower Industry Association that looks to promote the Australian flower industry.

“It bodes well for the health of Australia’s floraculture and it’s an upside to come out of an otherwise challenging period for growers,” Ms White said.

A man is standing in a greenhouse filled with flowers holding a bunch in his left hand staring at the camera.
Flowers Victoria Chair Michael van der Zwet said he hoped the Australian grown label might help promote local growers.(Supplied: Michael van der Zwet)

‘Silver lining’

While Melbourne is under Stage 4 lockdowns, and regional Victoria Stage 3, many florist shopfront doors are closed, but inside some businesses are still turning a profit.

South Melbourne florist, Summer Markopoulos, said there had been a silver lining to the second lockdown in Victoria, with delivery orders almost doubling since the pandemic began.

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Australian abattoirs still suspended from trade with China as labelling concerns addressed

Four Australian beef processors that were banned from trading with China last month have met a 30-day requirement to address labelling concerns, the Federal Agriculture Minister says.

The abattoirs – three in Queensland and one in New South Wales – were blacklisted days after China announced its intention to slap an 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley.

David Littleproud said the suspensions should serve to remind producers about the importance of compliance.

“There are technical matters around labelling,” he said.

“It is again a reminder to every exporter that they meet the specifications of the country, whether it is China or anyone else, that they’re exporting to.”

Meatworks admits errors

Suspended processor Northern Meat Co-operative, at Casino in New South Wales, has accepted responsibility for non-compliance errors.

Chief executive Simon Stahl declined to discuss the details of China’s complaints, but said the issues had been addressed.

“Our Federal Government can only do so much, they’ve got to wait for us to do the response,” he said.

“They’ve reacted and had a secondary audit of the plant to make sure all those corrective actions are valid, and now they’ll start the discussions with the relevant authorities in China.

A headshot of a youngish executive, with a beard, smiling.
Simon Stahl said the processor accepts full responsibility for the non-compliance issues.(Supplied: NCMC)

“I think the responses from our end are very valid and I’d like to think [the suspension will be lifted] earlier but I couldn’t really put a time on it, we’re planning for three months.”

He said it was hard to put a number on the financial impact of the suspension, and said the pandemic was hurting the processor more.

NCMC exports up to 20 per cent of its beef product to China per year.

Grazier calls for scrutiny

For Queensland grazier Josie Angus, whose beef was processed at NCMC, the loss of market access was disturbing.

Ms Angus wants the industry to determine if the rules are consistent with World Trade Organisation Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement and the Free Trade Agreement signed by China and Australia.

A woman stands in front of a cattle feedlot and looks at the camera, cattle eat in the background.
Josie Angus says the rules around exporting to China should be scrutinised.(ABC Capricornia: Rachel McGhee)

“Australian exporters aren’t having any labelling issues with any other of our trading partners,” she said.

“These issues are confined to our relationship with China.

“Negotiating a Free Trade Agreement shouldn’t be about set and forget, it should always be about making sure that countries that we deal with continue to abide by the rules.”

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