Growcom and the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association have welcomed the Queensland Government’s commitment to help restore the sector's reputation for safe and delicious berries.
Growcom CEO, David Thomson said the entire horticultural industry takes great pride in what they grow and to have some malicious person destroy an industry with a few spiteful acts of sabotage is heartbreaking for growers.
“All growers are committed to consumer safety, but the reality is that there is a lot of handling of fruit along the whole supply chain, and it’s important to work out the most effective approach to provide ongoing certainty,” Mr Thomson said.
“As such, we welcome the government’s commitment to help safeguard supply chain integrity, restore consumer confidence, and assist growers with ongoing recovery.”
In addition to funding, the Queensland Government has also established a ‘Queensland Strawberry Industry Back to Market Working Group’ to facilitate discussions between government and the strawberry industry to determine the most effective strategy to restore consumer confidence.
“We welcome the establishment of this working group and look forward to open communications between government and industry,” Mr Thomson said.
“It is important that the right systems and processes are put in place to minimise risk to the public and ensure that growers and their families aren’t put at risk again by a malicious individual, whatever their reasons.”
Queensland Strawberry Industry Officer, Jennifer Rowling said industry had been overwhelmed by the support of consumers over the past week.
“The strawberry industry would like to acknowledge all those consumers who stood by us during this time and we thank you for your support,” Ms Rowling said.
“We look forward to being back in full swing soon.”