Growers’ efforts celebrated at Reef Alliance Awards

The Australian Banana Growers’ Council has congratulated two Far Northern banana farming families, recognised at the Reef Alliance Awards ceremony in Townsville last night (November 22).

The tireless work of Boogan banana growers Frank and Dianne Sciacca has been acknowledged with the 2017 Prince of Wales Environmental Leadership – Reef Sustainability Award.
Mena Creek grower, David Rolfe, was also named a finalist in the Reef Nutrient Management category.

North Queensland banana growers live and work alongside one of the world’s most stunning natural icons: the Great Barrier Reef.
It’s a responsibility the majority of farmers take very seriously and none more so than this year’s Awards recipients.

The Reef Alliance Awards celebrate the achievements and efforts of outstanding individuals who have taken part in the Australian Government Reef Programme and/or Reef Trust Initiative.

Passionate about nature, the Sciaccas co-founded the Ecoganic farming system after observing years of degradation and declining reef health.

The Sciacca’s innovative system is often regarded as ahead of its time, reflected in their recognition at the Reef Alliance Awards ceremony.

“It has been a very long journey and finally gratifying to receive this acknowledgment from a peak body such as Queensland Farmers Federation,” Mr Sciacca said.

Many shoppers would have spotted the Sciacca’s Wax Tip Eco Bananas in supermarkets, and they’ve continued to spread the word over the years through academic papers, media opportunities, speaking engagements and field days.

Stephen Lowe, chair of the Australian Banana Growers’ Council, congratulated the Sciaccas on their achievement.

“This is well-deserved recognition of the great work Dianne and Frank Sciacca do for our industry and the environment,” he said.

Mr Lowe also congratulated Mr Rolfe for his recognition as a finalist in the awards, which were highly contested.

“We’re very lucky to live in this part of Australia and growers know the actions they take on their farms affect the environment around them.

“Banana growers across the north have rightly earned a reputation for being early adopters of new information and for improving their farm practices. This willingness to embrace change puts our industry in a great position to address further water quality challenges that lie ahead.

“The achievements of the Sciaccas and the Rolfes are testament to this commitment.”

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