An inspirational cast of speakers will join the program for the Australian Banana Industry Congress (ABIC) in Sydney this June.
Registration opened last week, and the biennial event is again shaping up to be a strong drawcard for growers and industry supporters.
International speakers will join Australian media personalities focussing on the themes of sustainability, resilience and innovation.
Former footballer, author, historian and media personality Peter FitzSimmons will lead the program, which opens on June 22 at the Sheraton on the Park.
He will set the tone for an innovative and inspiring event which will once again draw banana growers from around the country for an opportunity to fuel comaraderie and personal growth.
World renowned scientists’ Dr Frederic Bakry (France) and Professor Randy Ploetz (US) will update growers on the latest research in disease resistance; Noosa based chef Peter Kuruvita will join the play to inspire the culinary skills amongst attendees, and thought leaders, including futurist Rose Herceg will innovate with their forecasts of future retail trends.
ABGC Chair, Stephen Lowe said ABIC was a great opportunity for growers to get together and update themselves on scientific research, marketing, retail trends and more. “It’s not often we get time to go off farm and just focus on ‘filling up the cup’ so to speak. While ABIC is certainly an opportunity for personal growth, it’s also a chance for the industry to unite and regroup.
“It’s been a challenging time for growers, between biosecurity issues and market variation. We don’t often get a chance to wind down and just enjoy ourselves,” Mr Lowe said.
“As luck would have it, State of Origin is on in Sydney the evening before Congress begins, so we’ve got more than ample opportunity to enjoy ourselves, as well as learn from those speakers in the line-up that will be taking a microscope to the many aspects of the industry…and then those that are there just to inspire a fresh wave of energy.
“It really is a well-balanced line-up of information plus inspiration at the Congress this year.”
Mr Lowe said the Banana Ball, featuring comedian Anh Do would be a particular highlight, as would the final day of proceedings, which will end with Australian grazier and former cowboy Rob Cook. “If anyone can inspire resilience and positive thinking it’s Rob Cook. We are very lucky to have him as part of ABIC 2017 and I would urge growers to get in early so they don’t miss out.”
For further detail on Congress, including a full list of speakers, log on to: www.bananacongress.org.au