Growers’ e-bulletin – December 7, 2018


7 December, 2018


Marketing win 
Australian Bananas magazine
Events and Meetings update
Biosecurity Policy
TR4 newsletter available 
Freckle Levy proposal 
Register for Congress soon

A win for banana marketing

Australian Bananas marketing, funded by Hort Innovation with grower levies, has won an award from the Outdoor Media Association.

The OMA’s Creative Collection competition recognises the best Out Of Home (OOH) campaigns each quarter.

Australia Bananas won the OMA award for the ‘Best traditional use of OOH’ with their first ‘Peel Good, Feel Good’ campaign – which you can see in the images above. Congratulations to the team!

Australian Bananas magazine

A brand new edition of Australian Bananas magazine will be hitting your letterbox soon.

In this edition, you can expect to find features on diversifying the business, the Five-Year Control and Containment strategy for TR4, an update on the fight against feral pigs and a sneak peak of Congress 2019.

There’s also plenty of research – including on varieties and the banana microbiome – and the latest social pictures and events. Enjoy!

Latest events and meetings

Banana Scientific Symposium

The banana industry’s best and brightest working behind the scenes gathered in Cairns recently for the Banana Scientific Symposium.

Almost 30 speakers addressed representatives from government, universities and industry on topics ranging from soil and varieties to Panama TR4.

The event was held in Cairns from November 27-28 and organised by Queensland DAF.

Hort Innovation AGM

Voting members of Hort Innovation elected three new board directors at their recent Annual General Meeting. This increased its board’s female representation to four out of nine directors, including newly elected director, Julie Bird.  Susan Finger and Stephen Lynch were re-elected to serve another term. The current chair, Mr Selwyn Snell, was reappointed to serve another term at a subsequent board meeting.

The other notable outcome of the AGM was that a Special Resolution seeking to allow Industry Representative Bodies to become eligible voting members of Hort Innovation was not passed. It narrowly failed to receive the required 75% of votes in favour.

Plant Health Australia meetings

Michelle McKinlay, Industry Strategy Manager, recently represented the banana industry at a number of meetings convened by Plant Health Australia (PHA), of which ABGC is a member.

Outcomes include:

·         A decision to review a number of provisions of the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD). These include the definition of roles and responsibilities that are part of each party’s “normal commitment” to an emergency response and confidentiality arrangements that apply to communications during an emergency response.

·         Discussion about the possibility of a national property identification code for plant industries (similar to what currently exists in animal industries). PHA will convene working groups to consider changes to the current provisions and report back to members in May 2019. For more information please contact Michelle McKinlay on 07 32784786.

Federal Policy on Biosecurity

The Federal Government has agreed to all recommendations made in an independent review of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB) – which has a mandate to strengthen Australia’s national biosecurity system.

Peak horticulture body, the Voice of Horticulture (VOH) has welcomed the news, saying the review of the IGAB also represented a commitment by all governments to build a stronger national biosecurity system to meet any new challenges and protect Australia’s farming future.

VOH’s Tania Chapman said that by endorsing the 42 recommendations of the review, the Federal Minister for Agriculture, has also made a commitment that the Government will strengthen the IGAB system over the next five to 10 years.

Don’t be left in the dark about Panama TR4

From Biosecurity Queensland

Every two months Biosecurity Queensland email a Panama TR4 update to keep you abreast of the latest TR4 news. Are you getting it?

You can subscribe here.

Don’t be left in the dark, being up to date may help you prepare and protect your farm from this serious disease.

Have your say on ending the Freckle Levy

ABGC has proposed to the Australian Government that it reduce the Emergency Plant Pest (Freckle) levy from 0.75c/kg to zero, as at 1 July 2019.

This would save growers 0.75c/kg or 11.25c per 15kg carton.

The debt relating to the National Banana Freckle Eradication Program is expected to be paid off by 1 July 2019, or shortly thereafter. Any small remaining debt is to be paid by the Plant Health Australia levy.

For your input, objections or to ask any questions please phone or email ABGC CEO Jim Pekin at or 07 3278 4786. You can also send objections to the Dept. of Agriculture and Water Resources via

Countdown to Congress registration

The registration website for the 2019 Australian Banana Industry Congress will launch very soon.

You’ll hear from us as soon as you can jump online, but needless to say there is a fantastic, diverse program waiting for you – and some very good deals if you get in early! Stay tuned.

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.