Chair, Future Field Advisory Committee, Angus Ferrier; Growcom Chair, Belinda Frentz; and Director-General of the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Bob Gee unveil Future Fields, the 10-year roadmap for the Queensland fresh produce sector.

Peak industry body for Queensland horticulture, Growcom was joined yesterday by Bob Gee, Director-General of the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Belinda Frentz, Growcom Chair and Angus Ferrier, Chair Future Fields Advisory Committee to unveil the 10-year roadmap for the Queensland fresh produce sector, Future Fields.

This collaborative project was led by Growcom on behalf of the Queensland fresh produce sector and supply chain and was proudly supported and funded by the Queensland Government.

Growcom Acting Chief Executive Officer Richard Shannon said the sector not only feeds the nation but through direct on-farm employment puts food on the table for up to 25,000 Queensland workers and their families.

“We are the lifeblood of many rural communities, creating over $3 billion in value at the farm gate last year,” Mr Shannon said.

“Recently, COVID-19 has raised challenges and caused significant disruption to our sector, as have natural disasters and pest and disease incursions of national significance.

“We can expect these types of disruptions to continue, but they will also bring with them new opportunities.

“In addition, the pace of technological change will only continue to increase and drive new ways of doing things.

“For these reasons we must continue to evolve and improve. There is enormous opportunity for those willing and able to anticipate and adapt.”

Following an extensive grassroots engagement and consultation process, four fields of focus were chosen in terms of the likely benefit to industry from taking action:

  • Innovate to Access: Reaching new markets through innovation in food processing, packaging and logistics.
  • Working Smarter: Building skills to adopt and apply the new technologies that will reduce reliance on low skilled & labour intensive roles.
  • Bio Strong: Managing pests, diseases and biosecurity risks using data intelligence and collaboration.
  • Coordinated Compliance: Making it easier for growers to comply with government regulations and meet market driven requirements through digitization and eliminating duplication.

“Seizing opportunities in each of these fields will prove instrumental if Queensland is to remain the preeminent state for horticultural production, supply chain innovation and food processing,” Mr Shannon said.

“Many of the big, intractable challenges we face as an industry are entirely within our power to address.

“Accordingly, Future Fields is creating a space for collaboration that would not ordinarily exist and gives all with a stake in our industry the opportunity to contribute and take action to make a real difference.”

“Growcom welcomes the State Government’s enthusiastic support of Future Fields and looks forward to our ongoing, productive relationship with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.”

Download a copy of the Future Fields plan and learn more at www.futurefields.info