Back to business for berry farmers
QUEENSLAND strawberry consumers may soon know the backstory of their fruit as State Government money helps firm up traceability and integrity in the supply chain, improving industry export opportunities.
As this paper ends a series on the industry’s recovery, following the September sabotage crisis, industry spokesman Sean Dignum says the strawberry industry, and Australian food production generally, already has an enviable global reputation for food safety and security.
But directing part of the State Government’s $1 million industry assistance package, announced following the September sabotage, toward firming up details of the supply line would only further benefit the industry.
Establishing “provenance’’ of food is a rapidly-growing global trend as consumers seek, not merely safety and security, but the novelty value of knowing the background of food production.
“Improvements to the system will better establish the quality of the product at the time it leaves the farm gate,’’ Mr Dignum said.
That will be of great benefit, not only to the consumer, but to the farmer.
Strawberry growers such as Kiara Carmichael have expressed thanks to the Queensland community which got behind the industry following the September sabotage where needles were inserted in fruit.
The industry is expected to make a public declaration of appreciation within the next few weeks after consumers flooded on to farms to buy strawberries and businesses, including Newstead Brewing Co, came up with innovative ways to use strawberries.
Newstead’s marketing manager Darren Magin said the brewer was happy to make a strawberry beer to help growers.
But the brewer was stunned at the public reception, which was so positive there are tentative plans for another batch.
BOUNCING BACK: Emily Hendriksen, 5, and Sophia Blackwell, 5, picking strawberries together at Chambers Flat Strawberry Farm.