Vegetable growers in Queensland’s Logan district who were affected by the devastating floods triggered by Cyclone Debbie are heading to Adelaide for Hort Connections 2017, Australia’s leading event for the fresh produce industry, to connect with the wider industry and begin rebuilding their livelihoods following the recent devastation.
Three local growers, Lisa Crooks, Tan Nyugen and Chung Van Li are heading to the event to learn from the industry’s leading thinkers and innovators. They will also meet with world-leading agribusinesses and other growers, which will allow them to form networks that will be invaluable in their efforts to clean up, rebuild and recover from the floods. This initiative has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia.
“Vegetable growers in the Logan district were nearing harvest at the time of the floods, so it has been a devastating setback for these businesses as they approached their busiest period. Many consumers may be unaware that this area is a significant producer of vegetables and herbs,” said AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside.
“Through their attendance at Hort Connections 2017 and sharing the lessons learnt with their peers, these Logan growers are starting the long journey to rebuild their livelihoods and their community.
“Not only is Hort Connections 2017 a valuable opportunity to learn the latest research taking place in the industry, it’s a vehicle to provide growers with a support network that will have ongoing benefits and remain in place long after the event has ended. I would encourage all attendees to spend some time with these growers and see what the industry can do to support them through this difficult time.”
The Logan district is a significant production area for cucumbers, eggplants, Asian vegetables and herbs, and supplies Rocklea Markets, Woolworths, Coles and other smaller markets. The agriculture sector of the region is reported to contribute over $116 million to the economy.
According to Lockyer Growers President Michael Sippel, support from the wider horticulture industry has been helpful to date and is important to continue to help growers in the area recover from the damage wrought by Cyclone Debbie.
“Forming strong networks with growers and industry across Australia is vital in the redevelopment of horticultural production in the Logan region,” said Lockyer Valley Growers President Michael Sippel.
“Local growers in the Logan area have already set up an online grower group on Facebook and through their attendance at Hort Connections, it is hoped that these growers will strengthen this network to include contacts from across the country that will help them and their peers rebuild their lives.
“By sharing the latest news and research that will be presented at the many events during Hort Connections, Logan growers will hopefully rebuild horticultural production in the region and make it stronger than ever.”
Lockyer Valley Growers is an independent, not-for-profit, grower-based group that is working with Logan growers to help them rebuild following the recent flood damage from Cyclone Debbie.
Registrations are still open for Hort Connections 2017, taking place at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 15-17 May 2017.