By Growcom CEO David Thomson

As supply chains are stretching and supermarket shelves are looking bare, the Queensland horticulture industry stands ready to answer the call.

We have a responsibility to feed the nation through this health emergency and will have more than enough fresh produce to do so.

It is expected this winter, like many winters before it, that upwards of 90% of vegetables in Australian supermarkets, like tomatoes, capsicums and many others, will be grown in Queensland.

Queensland is Australia’s premier state for fruit, vegetable and nut production with our growers producing more than 120 types of fresh produce across 16 growing regions, located from Stanthorpe in the south to Lakelands in the far north.

With our peak in production anticipated to coincide with a peak in the cases of coronavirus, and with a direct link between the consumption of fruit and veg and improved immunity, it’s clear what produce comes out of the Sunshine State will have an important role to play.

If we want consumers to continue enjoying plenty of fresh and nutritious produce over the next six months, it is essential we ensure Queensland horticulture has everything in place for success in this mission.

This will involve assuring, as far as possible, business as usual conditions for food production and supply, including allowing the transport of farm inputs to farms, and then produce from farm to market across state borders without delays or obstruction.

If it wasn’t clear already, access to quality, fresh produce is a vital component for all Australians to be happy and healthy.

Research has shown a varied diet including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables can help improve gut health and prevent against all kinds of infection.

Now more than ever before, Australians should be increasing their daily intake of fruit, vegetables and nuts to help boost their immunity.