In association with the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association (QSGA), Growcom has appointed Lana Baskerville as the Strawberry Industry Recovery Officer (IRO) to assist growers and the broader Queensland strawberry industry supply chains.
Ms Baskerville’s appointment forms part of the Queensland Government’s $1 million Strawberry Industry Support Package, announced in September.
Over the next couple of months, Ms Baskerville will meet with strawberry growers across Queensland to gather a clear picture of the industry and better understand grower needs.
She aims to connect them with available support packages ranging from low interest loans, to farm debt restructuring assistance, financial counselling, workforce support, and personal wellbeing services.
These support packages will go a long way towards safeguarding the reputation of Australian fruit and restoring confidence among growers who are already focused on getting current harvest to market or planning for next season.
It is clear the quality, integrity and freshness of local strawberries is not the issue but we must ensure they safely arrive for sale in the same condition as when they left the farm.
We are grateful for the Queensland Government’s contribution of $150,000 to help us and the QSGA to assist growers with the ongoing response and recovery.
Their support in launching the Queensland’s summer strawberry season at Applethorpe in the Granite Belt last week has assured local consumers that our growers’ fruit is safe, sweet and delicious.
We would also like to thank the wider community for continuing to buy strawberries and getting behind Queensland growers in recent months.
Due to continued consumer confidence, the strawberry industry’s contribution to the state economy for 2017–18 is forecast to be valued at $160 million.
Growcom is proud to be an advocate for Queensland’s strawberry industry which includes about 100 strawberry growers who produce up to 30,000 tonnes each season, counting for about 40 per cent of Australia’s annual strawberry production.