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The voice of Queensland horticulture.


Industry Policy

Growcom’s Advocacy and Policy Unit (APU) strives to provide influential representation, strong leadership and committed action on behalf of horticulture growers and their businesses.

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Join the peak industry body for horticulture.

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Who we are

Growcom is the peak representative body for Queensland horticulture and strives for the long term growth and profitability of horticultural farms and the industry. Our core membership consists of Queensland’s fruit and vegetable producers and individuals, groups and industries who have a stake or interest in the future of Queensland horticulture. Growcom exists to:

  • Provide strong leadership to horticultural growers in developing policy on issues affecting production horticulture
  • Provide powerful representation of horticultural interests to local, state and national governments, government agencies and key stakeholders in the supply chain
  • Deliver professional services to horticultural growers and other horticultural stakeholders to enhance their business efficiency and profitability
  • Provide an information hub on issues relating to horticulture at a state and national level.

Growcom Spotlight

23
January

Put Queensland fruit and veg on your plate this Australia Day for better health

Put Queensland fruit and veg on your plate this Australia Day for better health Peak horticulture body Growcom is encouraging... Read More
12
January

Growcom calls for all parties to consider horticulture

  • January 12, 2015
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Growcom calls for all parties to consider horticulture in run up to State election Tuesday 13 January 2015 Peak horticulture... Read More
07
January

Exploitation of backpackers and other seasonal workers is unacceptable

  • January 07, 2015
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Exploitation of backpackers and other seasonal workers is unacceptable Wednesday, 07 January 2015 Peak production horticulture body Growcom today agreed... Read More
22
December

Festive fruit and veg bring healthy benefits to Christmas

  • December 22, 2014
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Festive fruit and veg bring healthy benefits to Christmas Monday, 22 December 2014 Indulgence and the festive season often go... Read More

Industry News

An Australian vegetable and potato grower group is worried about the China Food and Drug Administration’s latest description of food safety as “grim” in the East Asian country. In a release, Ausveg said the finding was particularly important given China was the third-largest vegetable exporter to Australia after New Zealand and Italy, and the fact Aussies were becoming more concerned about the country of origin of their purchases following food health scares overseas.
Source: Fresh Fruit Portal
It's a sight that flashes past your car window on the roads around the Wide Bay region in Queensland. Breaking the green monotony of cane fields as they whiz by are the smaller crops like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, capsicum and watermelons. Lately the watermelon crops have been looking a little worse for wear. Sun-bleached watermelons crops look to be left in the paddock to rot, but farmers are using the leftover fruit to better the soil conditions for next year's harvest.
Source: ABC Wide Bay
Promoting Australian agricultural exports to the Indian market will be on the agenda for a business delegation who visited New Delhi. The real value of agrifood demand in India is set to rise by 136 per cent between 2009 and 2050, according to a report released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) at the end of 2014. India is Australia’s fifth largest export market.
Source: Queensland Country Life
Horticulture producers have high hopes for a trade agreement with India, saying it has potential to be the next boom market for Australian fresh fruit and vegetables. In total, Australia's trade with India was worth $15 billion in 2013.
Source: ABC Rural
Two fatal accidents at the Sydney Markets have resulted in mandatory seatbelts and rollover protection for all forklifts. The accidents, in 2012 and 2013, prompted the largest fresh-food market in the southern hemisphere to review their safety standards.
Source: ABC Rural
The Agriculture Minister's reassurance that the Vietnamese market isn't 'lost' to Australia is providing little comfort to table grape growers. Barnaby Joyce says Vietnam's decision to stop issuing import permits for Australian fruit and vegetables is all part of the 'to-ing and fro-ing' of trade negotiations. But grape growers, who have already started picking fruit for the Vietnamese market, say they need a resolution now.
Source: ABC Rural
One of the biggest watermelon producers in the Northern Territory is moving its operations to Kununurra in Western Australia. After an outbreak of Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus (CGMMV) last year, melon and pumpkin growers around Katherine were ordered to rip up and destroy their crops. They're not permitted to grow any melons for at least two years.
Source: ABC NT Country Hour
This year's almond harvest will surpass the previous record set in 2014, according to the Almond Board of Australia. It's estimating between 75 000 to 80 000 tonnes of almonds to be harvested, beating the previous record of 73 000 tonnes.
Source: ABC Rural
Two of Australia's most loved summer fruits could soon be on the table in American households. Australian mango and lychee growers hope the fruits of their labours will become US favourites, following a new deal on export protocols. Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said it was a difficult agreement to reach, because of US demands that the products be free of fruit fly.
Source: ABC Rural
Ausveg is strongly opposed to any proposal to allow backpackers to extend their stays in Australia by working in seasonal tourism jobs, amid fears such a move would divert valuable labour resources from Australia’s vegetable and potato industries.
Source: Fresh Plaza
A Queensland farmer is set to receive a $944 000 payout under Australia's first multi-peril crop insurance, after a failed season. The Australian company Latevo International partnered with insurer Allianz last year, to offer the program, which was taken up by just 29 farmers nationally. It was widely seen as an alternative to farmers having to rely on government disaster assistance.
Source: ABC Rural
Ausveg is strongly opposed to any proposal to allow backpackers to extend their stays in Australia by working in seasonal tourism jobs, amid fears such a move would divert valuable labour resources from Australia’s vegetable and potato industries.
Source: Fresh Plaza
Sunshine Coast strawberry farmers have been put on notice after an audit found almost half aren't providing adequate work cover for fruit pickers. WorkCover Queensland says it investigated 56 Sunshine Coast strawberry farm employers and found only 35 had appropriate coverage for their workers. Of the remaining employers, nine were uninsured and 12 were under insured. Donna Mogg, from horticulture lobby group Growcom, says the audit proves more work is needed to educate growers on the Sunshine Coast.
Source: ABC Rural
Employers have been warned not to exploit backpackers after complaints that one Victorian operator is paying fruit pickers 60c an hour. The Fair Work Ombudsman has received complaints that an operator from Mildura was bullying and sexually harassing backpacker workers. The business allegedly charges backpackers $450 to find them jobs and then pays them as little as 60c an hour to work on local farms. The operator, it is claimed, charges backpackers up to $150 to stay in “sub-standard houses and caravans”, fitting up to 32 people into a single house with a further 12 people accommodated in the garage.
Source: The Guardian
The horticulture industry has welcomed the Japan free-trade agreement tariff cuts which came into effect last week. The bilateral trade deal with Australian agriculture’s second biggest market was finalised in April last year and the first round of tariff cuts started today, with further tariff reductions coming into effect later this year.
Source: Fresh Plaza
The Queensland mango harvest has reached peak production, with more than 2.6 million trays of fruit hitting the domestic markets since mid-November. Growers in the Burdekin/Bowen region have almost completed their 1.5 million tray harvest, with picking now also well under way in the Far North. Boyd Arthur from the Australian Mango Industry Association says there's been plenty of premium fruit available, with prices remaining strong throughout the season.
Source: ABC News
Fresh fruit and vegetables are currently exempt from GST, but one MP doesn't think that should be the case. The topic came to light as federal Liberal National Party MP Dan Tehan suggested GST be widened to include fresh produce. The move would earn the Abbott government $6 billion in revenue. Although Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said the Federal Government had "no plans" to the change the GST, the discussion has outraged Bundaberg region growers and producers who say it could spell the end of the industry for some.
Source: News Mail
AMAQ president Shaun Rudd said Queensland is facing an obesity “state of emergency” with 2.5 million people fighting the “war of the wobble”. The medical group is lobbying for a ban on fast food outlets opening within 1km of new schools, as well as subsidies for fruit and vegetables in high-risk communities in the upcoming election.
Source: News.com
Fresh fruit and vegetable growers wouldn't be worse off if the GST was broadened to include their produce, according to one federal politician. Western Victorian Liberal MP Dan Tehan says it's time for tax reform, and that the GST needs to cover more products. He says that because the entire economy will improve, that will offset the higher cost of fresh produce.
Source: ABC Rural
Peak horticulture organisation Growcom urged all political candidates and parties in the State election to remember the economic performance of horticulture and to include policies to improve productivity and profitability of this important industry. Growcom launched an industry policy statement outlining the key challenges and solutions for production horticulture in the years ahead.
Source: Fresh Plaza

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