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Growers prove their Great Barrier Reef water quality credentials

Far north Queensland cane growers in the most Reef-sensitive areas are proving their commitment to improved water quality through accreditation in the industry’s Smartcane BMP program.

25% of the sugarcane land from Ingham to Mossman has now been independently accredited as being farmed at or above industry best practice standard.

In one of the highest-priority reef water catchment areas, all five members of the CANEGROWERS Innisfail grower-elected board have achieved Smartcane BMP accreditation.

“They are leading by example and can demonstrate to their communities, government regulators, and the international sugar market that they are farming in a sustainable manner to protect the Reef while maintaining productivity and profitability,” CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan said.

78% of the cane farm land in the Wet Tropics region is now benchmarked against Smartcane BMP’s best management practice criteria for soil health and nutrient management, drainage management and the management of weeds, pests, and diseases. These businesses are working towards accreditation.

“Growers right along the far north Queensland coast are very conscious of their responsibilities living, as they do, next door to the Reef. It’s their backyard and they want to do their best by it,” Mr Galligan said.

“They also understand that the tourism industry, along with the sugar industry, is a key economic driver for their communities and regional Queensland.

“CANEGROWERS now puts out the call to the growers who are yet to become part of Smartcane BMP to get on board so we can all be recognised for our efforts and tell our story!”

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