60 Years of ABGC – The benefits of a strong industry peak body

As the national peak industry body for Australia’s commercial banana growers, the Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) acts in the interests of commercial banana growers on a wide range of issues.

The Australian banana industry has confronted some seemingly insurmountable challenges in its 60 year-history which have threatened, at varying times, to bring the industry to its knees.

During each of these challenging periods which have ranged from biosecurity threats to natural disasters, the ABGC has played a pivotal role in the immediate response to and long-term recovery from.

In the words of a former board chair, the ABGC “pushes hard” to position itself and the industry on the front foot, while having the means to respond in an ever-changing environment largely governed by external pressures and forces.

The ABGC and the Australian banana industry is well-established and well respected in Australian agriculture.

The relationships developed and credit gained in the Federal and Queensland Governments have paid dividends when it came to the ABGC’s submissions on banana imports, Black Sigatoka, cyclone recovery, national levies, Banana Freckle and the Queensland Panama Tropical Race 4 incursion, to name a few.

A great deal of work is carried out behind scenes to develop and maintain this respect, to ensure the industry remains front of mind in government and has a seat at the table where decisions are made.

The ABGC has more than demonstrated its strength and influence over the past 60 years, whether
its lobbying for government support, supporting growers or reassuring markets about the industry’s long-term viability.

A strong, credible peak industry body has also enabled the ABGC to successfully bid for and continue to deliver Hort Innovation-funded and Government projects.

With the threat of imports, biosecurity and natural disasters likely to continue to confront the industry, a strong, effective peak body is critical to ensure a strong industry future.