An advisory committee of a dozen eminent experts and industry leaders from across Queensland is assembling in early December to help guide the development of a new 10-year strategic plan for the fresh produce sector and supply chain. 

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, calledFuture Fields, and has today announced members of its advisory committee. 

Growcom Chair and vegetable grower Belinda Frentz said the calibre of her fellow committee members, and the commitment to Future Fields from the highest levels of industry and government, would mean the strategic plan would present a unique opportunity to successfully address long-standing challenges and future opportunities facing the sector.

“We know 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,” said Ms Frentz.  

“So we’re especially pleased to have experts and leaders from across the full scope of the fresh produce supply chain on the advisory committee, guiding our thinking and focus, and drawing in key players who are in a position to take the actions required.”

The advisory committee will be coming together for the first time at the start of December. At the top of the agenda will be digesting the insights collected from the Future Fields Summit in late October, through an online survey, and at recent regional workshops held around the state.    

Growcom Chief Executive Stephen Barnard said the level of interest and engagement from a wide range of interested parties had delivered a rich smorgasbord of opportunities, ideas, issues and challenges. 

“A key role the advisory committee will play early on, with all of this input, is helping us divine where we have the best windows of opportunity, through collaboration, to make meaningful, long term impact. These will be the future fields we’ll ultimately focus on in the strategic plan,” said Mr Barnard. 

“We’re excited for the advisory committee to come together and look forward to working with them.”

Members of the Future Fields Advisory

  • Ms Liz Alexander
    • Director – Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority
    • Commercialisation Facilitator – i4 Connect
  • Mr Fabian Carniel
    • Owner – Mulgowie Farming Company
  • Mr John Corbett
    • Chair – Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority  
    • Director – Philip Yates Family Holdings Limited
  • Ms Sarah Corcoran
    • Chief Executive Officer – Plant Health Australia  
    • Advisory Board Member – Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis (CEBRA)  
    • Observer – National Biosecurity Committee
    • Member – Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative
    • Member – CSIRO Health & Biosecurity Advisory Group
  • Mr Angus Ferrier 
    • Committee member – Granite Belt Growers Association  
    • Manager – Rosemary Hill Orchard
  • Ms Belinda Frentz
    • Chair – Growcom  
    • Deputy Chair – AUSVEG  
    • Owner and manager – Coastal Hydroponics
  • Mr Bob Gee, APM
    • Director-General – Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Ms Emma Greenhatch
    • Chief Executive Officer – Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN)
  • Mr Tony Kelly
    • Chair – Brisbane Markets Limited  
    • Director – Hort Innovation
  • Mr Ben Martin
    • Chair – Australian Mango Industry Association  
    • Vice President – Bowen Gumlu Growers Association  
    • Owner and manager – Marto’s Mangoes
  • Prof Neena Mitter, FTSE
    • Director – QAAFI Centre for Horticultural Science  
    • Director – ARC Research Hub for Sustainable Crop Protection
  • Ms Debbie Smith
    • President – Master Grocers Australia