Peak representative body for Queensland horticulture, Growcom has today launched its 10-point priority list for supporting the fruit, vegetable and nut industries.
With the endorsement of the Queensland Horticulture Council, Growcom’s priority list feeds into the advocacy and policy framework of the National Farmers’ Federation’s (NFF) vision of a $100 billion agricultural industry by 2030.
Growcom CEO, David Thomson said Growom is committed to helping the industry reach its full potential by improving the competitive environment for all horticultural businesses.
“One third of Australia’s fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts are produced in Queensland,” Mr Thomson said.
“Horticulture is Queensland’s second biggest and fastest growing agricultural sector contributing over $3 billion towards the State’s economy in 2018/19. The industry is second only to the beef industry in size, and larger than the sugar and grain industries.
“Ensuring Australia has a thriving and prosperous horticultural industry is of critical importance to the entire country – not just to the regional communities that rely on agriculture to survive, but to all Australians who want high-quality, nutritious food to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Growcom’s 10-point priority list for Queensland horticulture includes:
- The introduction of a dedicated agriculture visa to ensure we have enough workers to grow and harvest our produce.
- Continued support for Growcom’s Fair Farms program which aims to ensure all workers in the fresh produce supply chain are treated fairly.
- Placing a higher priority on horticulture produce in trade negotiations.
- Reducing national greenhouse gas emissions and helping growers adapt to climate change and build resilience to natural disasters.
- Reducing electricity costs for farm businesses and increasing access to renewable energy options.
- Maintaining support for levies that underpin the industry’s capacity to invest in research, development and innovation.
- Supporting growers to navigate their innovation opportunities and invest in the right ag-tech.
- Boosting investment in biosecurity measures for plant industries.
- Investing in research and extension that helps growers improve their environmental sustainability.
- Encouraging all Aussies to eat more fruit, vegetables and nuts to improve their health and happiness.
“We call on all prospective politicians and their parties to consider the needs of the horticulture industry in the lead-up to the Federal Election this month,” Mr Thomson said.
“Politicians cannot afford to overlook these issues that will support the continued growth and development of the horticulture industry in the years ahead.”