and to remain competitive. These people keep the industry focussed and cohesive, and assist through providing advice to others or serving on committees. All of our pioneers, in their own way, have helped make the industry what it is today. In 2013 Mr Ben Robinson and Mr Tony Read were chosen to be publicly recognised for the significant contributions they have made to transforming a fledgling industry into the modern, vital and proactive force that it has become and has helped lay the foundation for today’s industry. The induction tribute videos are available to watch on the ABA Youtube Channel.
The Almond Board of Australia recognises that occasionally we should stop to consider the contribution people make to our industry. This industry has developed and come a long way over the last fifty years, and many people have contributed to these changes. Importantly, many of course continue to do so. Industry needs these people, needs their vision, their courage, their support. Without them it will neither develop as quickly nor as well. Providing direction, pushing the boundaries, taking calculated risks and trying new techniques, technology and even new varieties are instrumental in helping to develop infrastructure. Whether processing or marketing, this allows the industry to both expand
Tony Read has contributed to the Australian industry in several leadership roles during periods of transition for the industry and its representative bodies. He has also been a significant figure in the pioneering of large broad acre almond orchards, on which the modern Australian industry has progressed rapidly to become the world’s second largest producing country. Tony is highly regarded for his commercial acumen and management skills relating to both organisational governance and to project development and implementation. Irrigators have benefitted from his engineering skills in designing orchard systems and from his commitment to sound management of the Murray Darling Basin’s water resources throughout his 20 year involvement as a consultant to, and director of, Murray Irrigation Limited in NSW. Tony was educated at Norwood High School in Adelaide and undertook his tertiary education at Adelaide University, completing a Bachelor of Engineering with first class honours in 1961. Tony went on to study a Masters of Engineering in 1974 and a Masters of Business Administration in 1980. In 1962 Tony married Jenny, and he acknowledges that she has played a major role in his achievements. Tony gained experience with irrigation projects working for consulting engineering company Kinnaird Hill de Rohan and Young, later to become Kinhill and more recently KBR. Tony was involved in a number of projects in the
Riverland including Sunlands, Golden Heights, Tolley Scott and Tolley, Cottees and Angoves before moving to almond projects. In 1972 Tony became associated with the almond industry through establishing the irrigation infrastructure for new orchards at Lindsay Point for the Almond Co-op. This ignited his interest in almond production. In 1985, Tony and Paul Martin reviewed the lessons learned from the Lindsay Point development and commenced plans for a major project that developed into Jubilee Almonds, established at Waikerie in 1987. Tony’s role in the Jubilee Almonds project involved him as an investor, project manager for the 464 hectare planting, and Chair of the Jubilee Almonds Board for 27 years from its inception until October 2013. Tony was also heavily involved in the establishment of Century Orchards, a company operating an almond and wine grape enterprise of 650 hectares located at Loxton. He was Chair of the Century Orchards Board from 1997 until 2013. The almond hulling and shelling facility at Lindsay Point, known as Laragon, started with humble beginnings and expanded as Jubilee Almonds and Century Orchards became members. Tony became a director in 1978, and in 1990 became Chairman, a position he still holds. Tony has played a major role in the Australian almond representative bodies, serving as a Director of the Australian
Almond Growers Association from its inception in 1996, and held the position of Chair from September 1998 until 2002. Tony, together with the AAGA Committee Chairs, developed the Almond Board of Australia Constitution and saw it successfully adopted in November 2002, moving the almond peak body from a grower organisation to one that represents the entire Australian almond industry, including processors and marketers. During his period of leadership, the statutory almond research levy was passed by growers and government, Marketing Committee and voluntary marketing levy for generic promotion established, the need for export market development recognised, linkages to international nut bodies, research organisations and scientists put in place, and first full time staff employed. The foundations for the Almond Board of Australia structure and expanded industry development role were also put in place under Tony’s period of stewardship. Known for his humble manner and altruistic nature, Tony Read’s commitment to the industry has been both long and productive.