Next week growers and supply chain partners in North and Far North Queensland will come together to decide on the key challenges that need to be addressed, through the Growcom-led 10-year strategic plan for the Queensland fresh produce sector, Future Fields.
The first workshop will be held in Bowen on Monday 15th November at the PCYC, followed by South Johnstone on Wednesday 17th November and Mareeba on Thursday 18th November at the DAF research stations in each of these two locations.
The fresh produce industry can expect further challenges and disruptions over the next decade, ranging from changing climate and weather patterns, shifts in consumer preferences, and the emergence of new technologies and production systems, Growcom Chief Executive Stephen Barnard said.
“Change and disruption is part and parcel of the fresh produce sector,” Mr Barnard said.
“We can however be more proactive, and get ready for those challenges we know are most likely and will have the biggest impact.
“Our workshops in Bowen, South Johnstone and Mareeba then are about hearing directly from those dealing with these challenges today and already thinking about how to solve them, as individual businesses and as an industry.
“We know growing export markets, managing the climate and environment, as well as freight and logistics are key concerns for the sector in North and Far North Queensland, and these are likely areas we will focus on through the new strategic plan, but there are other pieces of the puzzle we need to place.”
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,” Ms Frentz said.
“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 position ourselves as a preferred place for investment from interstate and overseas.”
Monday 15th November – 02:00pm – Bowen: Bowen PCYC Corner Hay Street & Queens Road
Wednesday 17th November – 02:00pm – South Johnstone: South Johnstone Research Station, 24 Experimental Station Rd, South Johnstone Boogan, 4871
Thursday 18th November – 03:00pm – Mareeba: Mareeba Research Station, 28 Peters St, Mareeba, 4880
Those interested in attending are encouraged to register at www.futurefields.info.
Future Fields is proudly supported and funded by the Queensland Government.
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