Horticulture’s food heroes in spotlight

Spotlight on horticulture’s food heroes


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​Members of the Growcom team participated in the Food Heroes farm walk and forum last week.

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​Members of the Growcom team had the good fortune to participate in the Food Heroes farm walk and forum at Koala Farms in the Lockyer Valley last week.

The farm walk was an excellent opportunity for hosts Diane and Anthony Staatz to showcase the increasing professionalism of the production horticulture sector as well as give attendees an insight into the sophisticated processes behind getting lettuce and broccoli onto supermarket shelves.

I was joined on an industry panel by Fresh Select CEO John Said, Bayer Business Development Manager Tim O'Grady and Koala Farm owner Anthony Staatz who is also an active member of the Lockyer Valley Growers Association.

Visitors watch Iceberg lettuce being planted at the Food Heroes farm walk and forum at Koala Farms last week.

Visitors watch Iceberg lettuce being planted at the Food Heroes farm walk and forum at Koala Farms last week.

It was really valuable to hear Tim’s insights into soil health, and specifically soil carbon, as the critical driver in productivity. He spoke about soil health as a means to build resilience so farmers are able to harvest 24/7 where necessary to meet demand.

John offered great insights into what consumers want, promoting value for money to consumers and the need to remain sustainable while offering competitive prices.

Anthony kept it characteristically short and sweet when his turn came to speak on the panel, and let the evidence of success on-farm speak for itself. His focus was on sustainability, and he highlighted a very important point about the need to be economically sustainable on farm.

He spoke about price pressure, the very competitive market and the value of investing in building the skills of your staff, summing up his approach by saying, “We’re not just growing lettuce. We’re growing people.”

I applaud Queensland Country Life for creating a platform through Food Heroes to highlight good operators like Koala Farms, and for helpful insights to be shared among people in the industry.

  • Growcom has more than 90 years of experience, providing relevant and practical services to businesses in the horticultural sector.
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