The Queensland Government has today revealed exactly how their million-dollar strawberry sabotage response fund will help our struggling farmers.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the funding boost for Queensland growers last week, along with a $100,000 reward for anyone who comes forward with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for sabotaging the strawberries with sewing needles.
In a statement on Wednesday, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner outlined a complete breakdown of where the funding would go.
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According to the State Government, $600,000 will be allocated to restore consumer confidence in strawberries through a targeted campaign, $250,000 will be put towards safeguarding supply chain integrity, and $150,000 will go towards the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association and Growcom to assist growers with the ongoing response and recovery.
Mr Furner said the Government’s approach is consistent with other agricultural issues they have dealt with in the past.
“When White Spot Disease hit our prawn industry in South-East Queensland, the Palaszczuk Government responded immediately by investing in a highly successful media campaign to get people eating seafood again with Brisbane Broncos legend Sam Thaiday,” Mr Furner said.
There are approximately 150 strawberry growers in Queensland, with most production around Dayboro, Beerwah, Wamuran, Elimbah, Caboolture, Stanthorpe and Bundaberg.
The value of Queensland strawberries for 2017–18 is forecast to be $160 million, with Queensland growers producing 6-15,000 tonnes of fruit per season – up to 60 million punnets of strawberries.