Growers’ e-bulletin – May 22, 2018


22 May, 2018


Free TR4 Workshops
2019 Nuffield Scholarships
Banana export strategy released
New Marketing Manager
Citrus Canker update
Don’t miss the chance to LEAD
Get the Congress you want
Grants available in Wet Tropics
Mid-North NSW meetings

If Panama TR4 was detected on your property tomorrow – are you ready?

Free workshops are being run by Biosecurity Queensland’s Panama TR4 Program for banana growers in June to help them prepare for a Panama disease tropical race 4 (Panama TR4) detection.

The workshops will offer an opportunity for growers to understand what their biosecurity requirements are if the disease is detected on their farm and to hear first-hand how other growers are meeting the requirements.

Representatives from Mackay’s Bananas will be at the workshops to share their experiences and the challenges they face as they continue to trade with Panama TR4.

Workshop venues and times

Silkwood 14 June
Silkwood Hotel Function Room
Cnr Edward and Silkwood Road
6.15pm for a 6.30pm start to 7.30pm. Meals can be purchased at the venue on the night.

The workshop will be followed by the Cassowary Coast Banana Growers’ Association meeting from 7.30pm.

Mareeba 15 June
Department of Natural Resources and Mines
John Charles Room A Block, First Floor, 28 Peters Street
9.45am for a 10am start to 11.30am
Light refreshments will be served.

Register for the workshops online here or by calling the Panama TR4 Program on 4091 8140 or via email

Nuffield Scholarships up for grabs

There’s just weeks left to apply for a 2019 Nuffield Scholarship.

Successful applicants receive a $30,000 bursary to study cutting-edge agriculture around the world and join a life-long network of fellow producers.

“The Nuffield Scholarship was the golden key to meeting global food retailers, processors, researchers and suppliers. Without this experience, I would not have made these key connections,” 2001 Nuffield Scholar and The Chia Co founder John Foss said.

More details here.

Aussie bananas set to take international stage

Hort Innovation recently released the Banana Industry Export Market Development Strategy 2023, identifying future opportunities for Australian banana growers.

While banana fruit exports in 2016/17 accounted for just 0.04 per cent of Australia’s total production, the strategy notes that differentiated and niche products could potentially find a place in markets such as Japan, China, Singapore, New Zealand and Qatar.

Read the summary of the banana export strategy here.

Read ABGC’s media release here.

Read Hort Innovation’s media release here.

Hort Innovation is also encouraging growers to send in their R&D project ideas either via or on the website.

New Marketing Manager for bananas

Big congratulations to Elisa King – former Marketing Manager for Australian Bananas – who has recently been promoted to Marketing Lead at Hort Innovation.

Kylie Drumond has been appointed as Elisa’s replacement. She will take on the role of Marketing Manager for Australian Bananas, as well as Australian Mangoes.

Kylie is a marketing and branding professional with extensive experience managing various size marketing and brand portfolios for products across the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) industry. Her track record includes managing products and increasing market share across Australia and New Zealand.

“I am passionate about thinking outside of the box and using innovative ideas to create marketing strategies in cooperation with my teams to increase market share and deliver results,” Kylie said.

“I am excited to work with such great industries and looking forward to driving continued growth by promoting the consumption of healthier eating options, namely bananas.”

For any questions related to Bananas, contact Kylie Drumond at

News from the North: Citrus Canker

The Northern Territory Government has this week announced restrictions on the movement of plants that can be infected by citrus canker, in a bid to control the disease’s spread.

Plants susceptible to the disease and products such as fruit and leaves are not allowed out of the control area, which covers greater Darwin and beyond. Further restrictions are in place around detection sites and restrictions that prohibit the movement of NT citrus interstate remain. More detail here.

The ABC reports the six infected properties include one commercial production nursery and two retail outlets, which have now had all of their citrus material destroyed.

The disease has also been detected in the East Kimberley.

Last chance to hone your business skills with LEAD

Want to gain the confidence you need to negotiate like a pro?

Is it time to improve your business plan and overall productivity?

Limited places are still available for the LEAD (Leadership, Exploration and Development) program, designed specifically for busy growers.

Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity! Find out more here or call 07 3278 4786.

Get the Congress you want

Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, May 22-24, 2019

Two minutes is all it takes to have your say on two of the most exciting days on the 2019 calendar – the biennial Australian Banana Industry Congress.

The Program Committee is working to secure a stellar line-up of speakers and exhibitors, so now is the time to tell them what you do and don’t want to see.

The best way to do this is though this confidential survey:

A massive thank you to those who have taken the time to share their thoughts – your suggestions are being taken on board!

Grants available in Wet Tropics

There’s still time to apply for a limited number of grants available for sediment conservation projects in the Wet Tropics.

Examples of sediment conservation projects include (but are not limited to):

·         Equipment to better maintain ground cover

·         Installation of sediment trapping structures

If you’re interested in finding out more, call the South Johnstone Reef Extension Team on 07 4015 2797.

Save the Dates: Next NSW Meetings

Dates have been set for the next Mid-North New South Wales BGA meetings – pop them in your diary!

The Nambucca BGA will hold its meeting on 31 July 2018, with Coffs and District to be held the day after, on 1 August 2018.

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.