In a landmark announcement today it’s been revealed the Queensland Government will be working collaboratively with the fresh produce sector to develop a shared vision for the future of the industry and supply chain for the next decade, and to agree on a strategy and program of work to turn that vision into reality.

Growcom, the peak body representing the state’s fruit, vegetable and nut growers, is charged with bringing key stakeholders along the supply chain together and guiding the development of the strategy, called Future Fields.

Bob Gee, Director-General of the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries said “Growcom is embarking on an ambitious plan to bring together all parts of the horticulture supply chain together that will benefit all Queenslanders.

“The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries looks forward to working with Growcom and all industry stakeholders across the supply chain and beyond to ensure regional communities continue to prosper and grow from Queensland’s nationally and internationally renowned produce,” Mr Gee said.

Growcom Chair and vegetable grower Belinda Frentz said the sector couldn’t rest on its laurels and that while COVID-19 has caused enormous pain and disruption, it would also continue to create opportunity for those ready and willing to adapt.

“The pandemic has kept our focus on the present. It’s essential as a sector we now raise our sights to the future. The winners over the next ten years are being determined today. Future Fields will ensure Queensland remains the preeminent state for horticultural production, supply chain innovation and food processing, and that we continue to attract investment from interstate and overseas” Ms Frentz said.

Growcom Chief Executive Stephen Barnard said to be successful Future Fields must be owned by all stakeholders with a role to play in bringing its vision to life, including growers, their suppliers, their buyers, government agencies, and those in research, banking, insurance, logistics, marketing and processing.

“We’re designing an open engagement process. Anyone willing to make a contribution will be welcomed. With a broad scope, we’ll be focusing our attention on just a few key fields where there’s big gains to be made, multiple parties coming together and solutions that require collaboration,” Mr Barnard said.

“Growcom is currently assembling an advisory committee of a dozen eminent experts and industry leaders from across the fresh produce supply chain to guide and help identify those fields of focus.

“We’re also launching our engagement process with a summit of key stakeholders at the Brisbane Markets on Wednesday 20th October, which will serve as an important initial opportunity to bring people together, to begin building a consensus of where we want to be in ten years, and to identify those fields where we think there’s the greatest opportunities.

“The future of the Queensland fresh produce sector is, as it’s always been, in the hands of those who live it every day. With support from Minister Furner and the Queensland Government, it’s within our power to bring the future we want to fruition.”     

For all the latest Future Fields news and information, visit the webpage, subscribe for email updates, and join the Facebook group. Those interested in attending the summit are encouraged to register now.  

Future Fields is being delivered by Growcom and is proudly supported and funded by the Queensland Government.