Growers’ e-bulletin – December 20, 2017


20 December, 2017


TR4 funding announcement
ABGC congratulates new Ministers
Digital marketing update
Upcoming Women’s Network meeting
Australian Bananas magazine
Hortlink information available
Merry Christmas

TR4 funding announced by QLD Government

L-R: Stephen Mackay, ABGC Chair Stephen Lowe, Minister Mark Furner and Gavin Mackay. 

The fight against Panama TR4 received a significant boost today, with Queensland’s new Agriculture Minister announcing a further $3.5 million towards ongoing efforts to contain the disease.

The funding includes;

1.       TR4 Program

$2.4 million to continue the Panama TR4 Program led by Biosecurity Queensland for 2016/17, bringing the total to $5 million for the year.

2.       Feral Pigs in TR4 high risk zones

$920,000 over three years:

·         $500,000 to Cassowary Coast Regional Council for an overarching coordinator and materials

·         $300,000 to National Parks for feral pig management in the Tully Valley

·         $120,000 over three years for landholder coordination in the Tully Valley

3.       Research and Development

·         $70,000 for ICA protocol development

·         $170,000 additional R&D for DAF

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner made the funding announcement at a meeting in Tully attended by ABGC Chair Stephen Lowe, Stephen and Gavin Mackay from Mackays Bananas and representatives of the Cassowary Coast Regional Council and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

You can read the Minister’s full media release here.

The Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) has welcomed the State Government funding pledge.

ABGC Chair Stephen Lowe said the continuation of the Panama TR4 program and feral pig management were critical to the industry’s ongoing fight to contain the disease.

You can read the full ABGC response here.

ABGC congratulates new Ministers

ABGC has welcomed two new ministers who have recently taken up Agriculture portfolios at a state and federal level.

New Queensland Minister for Agriculture Industry Development, Mark Furner met with ABGC representatives at meetings in Brisbane and Tully this week, where Panama TR4 was the major topic.

ABGC has also written to the new Australian Government Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud congratulating him and ensuring he is aware of Banana industry issues.

Digital marketing update

The Australian Banana digital activity wrapped up in November, with some great results.

An exciting area of this campaign was the Coles Digital component, which used point of sale data from Coles to specifically target people who have stopped buying bananas to encourage them to add bananas back to their shopping list.

The results for this campaign were fantastic.

More than 275,400 additional people bought Australian Bananas during the campaign period, which equates to a 25% purchase uplift in the lapsed/lapsing banana buyers. Although only a smaller spend, the ROI was great; for every $1 spent during the campaign period we converted 10 people to buying more bananas.

Save The Date: next Banana Women’s Network meeting

The first meeting of the Banana Women’s Network was a resounding success and – if you’ve been wondering when the next event is – good news!

A meeting is scheduled for 6pm on February 23 and will feature dinner, a guest speaker and, of course, plenty of fun.

You can register your interest in attending or being part of the group by joining the private Facebook group ‘Banana Women’s Network’.

You’ll find the details under an event called ‘SAVE THE DATE – Banana Women’s Network Meeting’. Alternatively, you can email or, or call 07 4015 2797.

Latest Australian Bananas magazine out now

It’s a busy time of year for the postie, but by now you should have received your copy of Australian Bananas magazine.

The December edition features an in-depth story on the fight against feral pigs, the latest Panama TR4 research and success stories from Carnarvon and growers near the Great Barrier Reef.

The magazine is also available online here, along with many past editions.

Levy update in Hortlink

A new edition of Hort Innovation’s Hortlink has also been released, providing an update on all new, current and recently completed levy-funded activity in each levy industry. You can see the banana section here.

Hortlink includes easy-to-read project updates, results and resources you can use in your business, plus case studies, industry contacts and more. You can choose to browse the whole banana snapshot or use the interactive project list to jump straight to the information you want.

Christmas message from Stephen Lowe

On behalf of the Australian Banana Growers’ Council, I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

I know that, for many of you, work doesn’t stop for the festive season but we do hope you find time to celebrate with friends and family.

Here’s to a fantastic 2018.

ABGC Chair, Stephen Lowe

Hort Innovation


This e-bulletin is produced by the Australian Banana Growers’ Council as a part of the Communications Project for the Banana Industry funded by HIA Ltd using the banana industry R&D levy and matched funds from the Australian Government.

Contact Details
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