The Australian Garlic industry Association (AGIA) board first learnt that their Chair, Letetia Ware, had pleaded guilty to the illegal importation of garlic through a media report by the ABC on the evening of the 4th of September.
The Chair was contacted Thursday morning and in response, Letetia sent an email to the Board advising of her stepping down.
Upon receipt of this, the board prepared and released a brief update to members and media.
On Thursday evening the Board met and unanimously agreed to call for Letetia’s resignation, which has been tendered and accepted by the Board.
Remaining board members were unaware of Letetia’s illegal activities, whose actions contravene AGIA’s objectives to support a thriving and healthy Australian garlic industry.
The board strongly condemns any behaviour that jeopardises biosecurity or the Australian agricultural industry
We ask for the patience and support of all our members and urge them not to contribute or participate in the ongoing perception that the AGIA board or Association were in anyway connected, or knew of, Letetia’s illegal activities.
The board condemns her actions.
We understand that many Garlic Growers are concerned for the safety of their own crops, and can take some level of relief that Justice Gleeson found that this imported garlic was not diseased.
We will keep you updated as information comes to hand.