Berry Industry Joins New North Coast Task Force

Ensuring a proactive approach to good practice and highlighting the benefits of a sustainable berry industry for the Coffs Coast and Clarence Valley regions are among the key objectives of a new working group, established through Berries Australia.

The working group brings together all the main berry producers in the region in a single forum to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing berry production in the region.The north coast region is the powerhouse for the berry production in New South Wales and contributes more than $ 400 million to the regional economy.

President of Berries Australia, Peter McPherson, said the industry was one of the largest employers in the region and that the influx of seasonal workers generated significant income for small businesses.

«We are focused on promoting sustainable agricultural practices and we are working closely with the Primary Industries Department, agricultural advisors and other experts to improve agricultural management," he said.

“As an industry, we recognize that our rapid expansion It has led to some challenges in terms of community perception and our goal is not only to promote the positives of the industry, but also to address some of the concerns head-on, ”McPherson said.

McPherson said there were around 150 producers in this region.

The industry

“Our producers, their families and their employees are active members of this community. The vast majority of people in our industry are passionate about the need for grow sustainably and protect the environment for your children and future generations.

“We are very willing to address the genuine community concerns and working with regulators to address misbehavior. Like any industry, we want to eliminate producers who are not doing the right thing and, at the same time, allow good producers to get on with the business of growth. "

McPherson said the industry had shown that when government and regulators work with us, we can deliver real results, as demonstrated by the SafeWork NSW Award 2020 for our work of communicating to our producers their obligations to WH&S around COVID.

Basically, this region should be proud of an industry that not only generates significant dollars but also contributes to the health and well-being of all Australians.

It should also be noted that the industry is subject to significant regulation around many of its practices, such as land clearing, fair labor obligations, and the use of chemicals, including spray drift and buffer zones. .

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