“Growcom is helping to keep farms viable. The staff help to keep us compliant, but even more than that, as our peak industry body for pineapples, they represent the interests of the grower. A lot of the work they are doing in demonstrating best practice to the public and the advocacy work that is done, is delivering the best outcomes for the growers.
The current business managers of Fullerton Farms are fourth generation farmers, that’s myself, my brothers, Scott and Ken, and our cousin, Robert. The business was started by our Great Grandfather 102 years ago. He grew pineapples at our Glasshouse Mountains property. We still grow there today, and we have expanded to a further three properties, operating on a total of 526 hectares (1300 acres).
We grow around 6000 tonnes of pineapples each year, which we supply to Golden Circle and Tropical Pines. We also produce 400 tonnes of macadamias, which, when the orchard matures, hopefully will increase to around 600 tonnes.
There’s a number of reasons why we remain a member of Growcom including the industrial relations support for the horticulture industry, the advice we can get as a member on a range of things like pesticide use, the political lobbying, and the advocacy work that Growcom does on behalf of industry.
We all hear this word ‘sustainability’ used in every meeting that growers attend, but it’s rarely about the sustainability of the grower’s business. It’s about environmental sustainability more often than not.
Growcom works in support of industry, helping us to meet environmental requirements, while ensuring that our businesses remain sustainable.
At the moment I know that Growcom is lobbying on our behalf regarding the backpacker tax and changes to casual wage rates. For the pineapple industry particularly, Growcom works closely with us to help investigate and register new chemicals that are safe for use, and effective for the farmer.
Growcom is uniquely positioned to be a conduit between growers and the groups that they deal with, to mediate on behalf of the horticulture industry.
I would encourage anyone who is a horticulture grower to take out Growcom membership as I’m sure as a part of your business you’ll find it extremely valuable.
All growers need to take part, not just ride off the backs of their neighbours. It takes a whole industry to create a stronge voice. We need an organisation like Growcom to represent us, supported by the whole of industry. Support comes through each and every horticulture producer in Queensland becoming paying members of Growcom.
The industry would be at a severe loss if we didn’t have Growcom acting on our behalf.”
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