Growers’ e-bulletin – December 18, 2019


December 18, 2019


Donate to Banana Bushfire Appeal
Freshcare update: FSQ4.1
Podcast: The battle against TR4
Stay up-to-date on Panama TR4 news 
Video: Going green in your inter-rows
Grants available to help BMP 
ABGC seeks extension officer  
Congress 2021 destination  
Australian Bananas magazine  
Marketing Update  
Merry Christmas and ABGC Office Hours


Donate to the Banana Bushfire Appeal


Thank you to all those, both in and outside the banana industry, who have generously donated to the Banana Growers’ Bushfire Appeal.

The GoFundMe campaign aims to raise much needed funds to assist banana growers in NSW and Queensland recover from bushfires that have devastated their farms and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.

  • Read the stories of some of the growers affected here
  • Find out more about the campaign and donate here

Freshcare Update: Are you ready for FSQ4.1?

The transition from FSQ4 to FSQ4.1 is required for all audits from 1st January 2020. 

If your Freshcare on-farm food safety and quality audit takes place in January or February 2020, you will need to be prepared and transitioned to FSQ4.1, as from the new year no audits to FSQ4 will take place.

Freshcare recommends you commence the transition process now. Information to assist this is available here.

If you have any questions regarding the transition to FSQ4.1, please contact or 1300 853 508. 


Podcast: The battle against TR4

The latest Turf ‘n’ Surf podcast (produced by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries) focusses on the management of Panama disease tropical race 4.

The episode features grower Gavin MacKay, the ABGC’s CEO Jim Pekin, Panama TR4 program team leader Rhiannon Evans and DAF’s Banana Production Systems team leader Stewart Lindsay.

The podcast is positive about the industry’s future and includes some interesting insights into just how far things have come. You can listen in here.


Stay up to date on the latest Panama TR4 news

Every quarter Biosecurity Queensland email a Panama TR4 update to keep you informed of the latest TR4 news. Are you getting it? If not, subscribe now at the DAF website.

Let the team know if there is anything you’d like to see in these updates by emailing


Going green in your inter-rows

How do you increase ground cover in your bananas?

The ABGC Best Management Practice Team has produced an informative new video detailing the why and how-to of good ground cover. The video features a number of familiar faces in both growers and soil ecology experts – you can check it out below.

The video was produced with funding from the Department of Environment and Science.


Grants available to help implement best management practice

Growers can now take advantage of a $1 million funding package on offer from the Queensland Government to implement best practice on farm.

Grants of up to $45,000 are on offer (with co-funding by the applicant) to assist in making on-farm improvements (ie projects to reduce sediment, nutrient and chemical run-off.)

Examples of potential projects include putting in automated fertigation systems with soil moisture monitoring, contour mapping and row layout advice or the purchase of drone spraying equipment for targeted killing of weeds/grass.

For more information, contact the ABGC extension team at South Johnstone: 07 4015 2797.


Join the banana team & help improve water quality

The Australian Banana Growers’ Council is seeking an extension officer who is keen to work with banana growers to make practical changes that improve farm management and water quality in Far North Queensland.

This role will take a lead in delivering $750,000 in grower grants, which part fund projects that reduce nutrient and sediment runoff in reef catchments.

Applications close January 8. More details here.


Have your say on Congress 2021 destination

It may be the end of 2019, but the Australian Banana Industry Congress team already has its eyes on 2021. 

Preparations are now under way for the 2021 event, with four locations in consideration: Cairns, Port Douglas, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.

Have your say on where you would like the 2021 Congress to be by texting your vote to 0428 038 330.  


Australian Bananas magazine

The last edition of Australian Bananas magazine for 2019 is hitting mailboxes now and online here.

In this issue, you’ll meet growers hard hit by recent bushfires as they start on the road to recovery. You’ll also read insights from a NextGen tour to the Top End, find out more about the Bunchy Top project and get the latest R&D updates.

If you have a business targeting the banana industry, you can now also check out the 2020 Media Kit for a range of opportunities to advertise here.


Marketing Update

The Australian Bananas marketing update for November showed some positive results, particularly on Facebook and Instagram.

After some tweaks to the Facebook strategy, including being more reactive and topical, the content has started reaching more people at a cheaper cost. Instagram also had a strong month, with good growth in overall followers.

In addition, Marketing Manager Tate Connolly presented at the ABGC AGM in North Queensland, answering a range of questions from growers.

For more information on the latest marketing update, email


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

We wish you a wonderful Christmas and a safe and festive New Year. 

Our offices will be closed from December 21 until January 1st.  


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.