Over 100 industry experts and opinion leaders are today descending on the Brisbane Markets at Rocklea for the historic Future Fields Summit, to help chart a course for the Queensland fresh produce sector and supply chain over the coming decade.
Key stakeholders attending include top mandarins from Queensland Government departments, senior scientists from research institutions, head sherangs from rural banks, prominent market agents, chiefs from horticulture industry bodies, and business leaders from along the supply chain.
The Future Fields Summit will start with a welcome from Brisbane Markets chief Andrew Young, and a scene-setting address from Growcom Chair Belinda Frentz. The event will conclude with remarks from Queensland Agriculture Minister Mark Furner on the significance of the industry to the state, and the importance of the Future Fields strategic plan in setting up the sector for future success.
Growcom Chief Executive Stephen Barnard said the weight of interest in the Summit from senior stakeholders across the supply chain signaled an optimism about the prospects of fresh produce with a recognition the next ten years would present yet more disruption.
“As the industry advocate for horticultural producers, we’re bullish by nature about the future of fresh produce. So its pleasing to see so many of our supply chain partners also coming to this conversation with plenty of goodwill and ready to roll their sleeves up,” said Mr Barnard.
“While we have all of this experience and expertise together, we’ll be gathering their views on what core challenges and opportunities we should be focusing our attention on.
“With a broad scope for Future Fields as a strategic plan, we understand there’s a risk of trying to be all things to all people. So we’re narrowing our attention on just a few key fields where there’s big gains to be made, multiple parties keen on working together, and solutions that require collaboration.”
Growers, supply chain partners and other stakeholders around the state will have their chance to influence the direction of Future Fields through an online survey and a series of regional workshops starting in November.
The first workshop will be held in Bundaberg on Monday 1st November, followed by Munduberra on Thursday 4th November. The Future Fields tour will also stop in at AgTech21 in Emerald on Wednesday 3rd November.
The next set of workshops will start in Bowen on Monday 15th November before heading to South Johnstone and Mareeba later in the week.
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