Premier commits $1m to strawberry farmers
STRAWBERRY farmers have received $1 million in funding to boost the industry following the recent incidents of contamination.
This was announced by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday, September 18.
"This past week, Queensland has been the victim of an ugly, calculated and despicable crime,” she said.
"This sabotage of our strawberry industry is not just an attack on hard-working growers and workers, but it reaches into almost every home and school lunch box.”
The $1 million fund will boost consumer confidence through promoting the quality of Queensland strawberries.
The money will go towards investigating the industry and how to further improve traceability and integrity in the supply chain, and helping growers for the remainder of this season.
The value of Queensland strawberries for 2017 to 2018 is forecast to be $160 million.
"Strawberry farmers say their banks have already been on the phone to them,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Queensland growers produce 6-15,000 tonnes of fruit per season which is up to 60 million punnets of strawberries.
Queenslanders are reminded to cut up any strawberries before consumption.
"Police are doing their job too, but it is a difficult one, they are having to deal with not only the original contamination, but also apparent copy cats,” she said.
"The community needs to come together and help police catch those responsible to restore our industry to the place of pride it deserves.”
Ms Palaszczuk said she had written to her federal, state and territory counterparts about this matter as it is central to protecting our reputation for safe, healthy and high quality fruit.