Congress begins in banana heartland

More than 450 growers, researchers and industry stakeholders have arrived in Cairns for Banana Congress 2021.


The industry’s premier biennial event is a celebration of all those who work to keep Australia’s favourite fruit on the table, providing inspiration, practical tips and an insight into the latest research and developments.


Banana Congress 2021 features a stellar line-up of speakers, drawing on expertise from within and outside the banana industry. Highlights include:


·      Matt Church, Founder of Thought Leaders

·      Tim Hunt, General Manager of Rabobank

·      Adam Ferrier, Founder of Thinkerbell

·      Mary O’Brien, Founder of ‘Are you bogged mate?’

·      Derrick McManus, Former Operative – Special Tasks and Rescue Group


Delegates will also have the opportunity to meet long-time banana ambassador and NRL legend Billy Slater, as well as internationally renowned croc wrangler Matt Wright.


Congress Management Chair and Lakeland grower Paul Inderbitzin said the event was shaping up to be one of the biggest yet.


“The response to this year’s line-up, and the location in Far North Queensland, has been phenomenal. In fact, we have a record number of attendees,” he said.


“The event kicked off yesterday with a site tour and informal Welcome Reception which really set the scene for what’s to come.


“Now it’s down to busines, with our plenary program off the a cracking start this morning with Matt Church (Thought Leaders) and Adam Ferrier (Founder of Thinkerbell).”


Of course, it’s not all work and no play, with a range of social functions planned to ensure growers get a chance to relax away from their farms.


Highlights include the Banana Women’s Network luncheon and the much-anticipated Banana Ball.


“It’s been an incredibly tough few years,” Mr Inderbitzin said. “We hope growers leave feeling motivated and positive about the future of this dynamic industry.”

Key details:


·      May 12-14, Cairns Convention Centre

·      Plenary program begins, Thursday May 13 (today)

·      Industry Awards of Honour, Friday May 14 (announced at the Banana Ball after 7pm)

·      More information:


Photos can be supplied on request.