Doing industry proud
CANEGROWERS Mackay is proud of their two innovative cane grower members who received accolades at the 2018 Reef Alliance Awards.
Their credentials are an indication of the achievements that our local cane-growing industry has attained as guardians of the Great Barrier Reef.
Congratulations must be extended to these cane growers for their foresight and for having the courage to put themselves forward as role models, particularly at such a busy time in their farming operations with the 2018 harvest being finalised.
Gerry Deguara took out the marquee award and he was presented with the prestigious Prince of Wales Environmental Leadership Reef Sustainability Award for his innovative and sustainable farming practices. Philip Deguara picked up the Reef Pesticide Champion Award.
Our local industry can stand proud to have the inclusion of these growers, as well as many other industry representatives, in the finalists.
These results highlight the importance that our sugarcane growers place on improving environmental outcomes for the Great Barrier Reef.
Recent times has seen the agricultural sector, particularly the sugar industry, come under increased pressure for its perceived lack of environment sustainability, and has drawn some criticism of its farming practices. However, these awards go a long way to convincing governments and the general public that cane growers are very proactive in the areas of environmental sustainability and stewardship.
While these two local Award winners are an inspiration to their fellow growers, it must be pointed out that they are not alone in the quest by the industry to improve water quality and environmental outcomes for the Great Barrier Reef.
Many cane growers are working hard to boost their productivity and profitability by striving on a day-to-day basis to continually improve on-farm practices.
It is now a known fact that while minimising their environmental footprint, adoption of these new and improved practices adds to productivity and profitability.
Currently almost half of all Queensland’s cane-growing businesses, accounting for almost 75 per cent cane-producing land, are benchmarked in the industry’s best management practice program, Smartcane BMP, and working towards full accreditation. The Mackay region is doing its part in building these numbers. Over many years now, the industry has worked closely with our governments and a multitude of other organisations on environmental issues. However, we, as an industry, recognise that there is still plenty to do, with cane growers being cognisant of their responsibilities to keep themselves at the cutting edge of innovation and adoption in their farming practices.
WELL DONE: Kevin Borg said congratulations are in order for cane farmers Gerry and Phil Deguara, who took out wins at the Reef Champion Awards and serve as role models in protecting the reef in the sugar industry.