Growers’ e-bulletin – February 25, 2018


25 February, 2018


HARPS meetings
Update from Biosecurity Queensland
Banana marketing win
Horticulture Code of Conduct
Boost your leadership skills
Feast of the Senses
Water catchment workshops in QLD
Tweed growers ones to watch

HARPS meetings

Do you have concerns over the new Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme (HARPS)?

The HARPS project team has scheduled a number of ‘Awareness Sessions’ to address growers’ issues, following representation from ABGC and other peak bodies which raised some members’ concerns.

The info sessions will be;

Wed 21st March:

  • Brisbane Markets, 9-10am

Thurs 22nd March:

  • Bundaberg, Rowers in the River 2, Toonburra St, 4-6pm

Wed 11th April:

  • Mareeba, Mareeba Leagues Club, Doyle & Riordan Streets. 12.00 – 2.00 pm
  • South Johnstone, DAF Research Station, 24 Experimental Rd, Boogan, 4.30pm – 6.30pm.

The HARPS project team are also organising sessions at the markets in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth

BQ working with high risk growers

Biosecurity Queensland officers are currently visiting the highest risk growers that were identified in the Panama TR4 tracing and surveillance strategy review.

The officers are working with these growers to ensure they are aware of the biosecurity obligations they would need to meet if Panama TR4 was detected on their property and to offer advice and information on being prepared for Panama TR4.

Calling all growers

Biosecurity Queensland has also asked growers to ensure the contact phone numbers on biosecurity farm gate signs are correct and legible. This enables service providers to notify property owners prior to entry. If you require more farm gate signs please contact Justine Thorp at the Panama TR4 Program on 4091 8140 or email

Keep up biosecurity in wet weather

BQ is also reminding growers to ‘come clean, leave clean’ and wash and decontaminate equipment that has been in contact with banana plant material or soil, even in wet weather. For more from Biosecurity Queensland, click here.

Marketing award for Australian Bananas

This Australian Bananas digital advertisment on the way to Perth Airport isn’t just eye-catching – it’s now award winning too.

Hort Innovation and Elevoncom won Best Traditional Use of OOH (Out of Home) in the Outdoor Media Association’s Q4 Creative Collection Awards.

The awards celebrate some of the most creative and innovative campaigns from around the country.

Horticulture Code of Conduct – transition time almost up

A 12-month transition period to a new Horticulture Code of Conduct ends on 1 April 2018.

If you sell your fruit through an agent or merchant, you’re required to have a written contract, which includes details like how price is calculated and when you get paid.

The new code came into effect on 1 April 2017 and replaced the Trade Practices (Horticulture Code of Conduct) Regulations 2006.

More information about the Code and where it applies can be found on the ACCC website.

If you need a hand developing your horticulture produce agreements, Growcom has launched a number of free templates to make the process easier.

The agreements have been developed with input from solicitors, growers and grower organisations.

For more information and to download, head to the Growcom website.

Leadership program for banana grower members: register now

Develop your leadership skills, learn from and collaborate with other industry leaders, and improve your farm business.

ABGC is inviting grower members to participate in a leadership program tailored specifically for growers.

The LEAD (Leadership, Exploration and Development) program kicks off with its first workshop in July and will cover a wide range of topics relevant to developing your skills as a leader within your farm business and the industry.

For more information, visit the ABGC website or contact

Be quick as places are limited!

The LEAD program has been made possible through the Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund, administered by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to support Australian agricultural industry.

Feast of the Senses needs you

Each year Australian Bananas is proud to sponsor ‘Feast of the Senses’, billed as North Queensland’s premier tropical fruit experience.

Our iconic, bright yellow marquee is always a huge hit, but it can’t go ahead without generous volunteers giving up their time to set up, make smoothies and hand out merchandise.

If you’d like to be part of the effort this year – on Sunday March 25 – please get in touch with the Cassowary Coast Banana Growers’ Association.

The Association is also seeking a volunteer ‘co-ordinator’ to help organise the stall prior to the event, including creating a volunteers’ roster.

If you can help – either as a volunteer for an hour or two or as Co-ordinator of this event – please contact CCBGA chair Dean Sinton on 0427 632 452.

Not only will you be promoting your industry, we can also promise great company and plenty of delighted customers!

Image: Feast of the Senses

Banana growers Walking the Landscape

Heavy rain didn’t stop more than 75 people ‘walking’ the landscape in Far North Queensland to better understand how water catchment systems work.

At workshops in Tully and Mourilyan, local knowledge was integrated with interactive maps to look at the topography, groundwater, geology and soil types that affect land use and water flow.

The “Walking the Landscape” workshops were organised by the Wet Tropics Major Integrated Project (MIP) in partnership with the Department of Environment and Science’s Queensland Wetlands Program.

Sandra Henrich, Basin Coordinator for the Johnstone, said the MIP is a Reef water quality project with a difference.  “There’s been immense amounts on knowledge – hundreds of years’ worth, in the room each day,” she said.

Banana growers in attendance said they were keen to see what they could learn.

Tweed BGA keen to make its mark

Tweed growers are looking to establish themselves as ones to watch in 2018, with increasing demand and boosting reputation the focus of the latest Tweed BGA meeting.

Growers flagged the idea of setting standards for packing and creating a joint brand – with buyer and consumer satisfaction top of mind.

Other topics covered at the Wednesday night meeting included fundraising events, the HARPS scheme, grants available from council and bunchy top.

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
It is important that ABGC is advised if you know of growers who are not receiving these e-bulletins or the Australian Banana magazine. We may have out of date email or postal addresses for these growers. Please email any updated contact details to:

Also, it is important for membership purposes that growers advise ABGC if they change trading name or their agent (wholesaler) or add one, and also to let their agent know.