Archive for the ‘Scenic Rim’ Category
Much has been written about the troubles plaguing the Australian dairy industry.
Since the introduction of $1/litre milk in supermarkets, dairy farmers have been going to the wall, unable to remain viable with such low paybacks for their product.
The chainstores continue to say they are not responsible for this and that their cheap milk price is not to blame because they’re the ones taking the cut on profits. Coles recently released this explanation on You Tube, explaining their side of the story.
Make of this ’explanation’ what you will. Coles says only 4 per cent of Australian milk ends up in Coles-branded containers and that they still stock the full range of milk on shelves. What they neglect to say is that most consumers, when faced with the choice of $1/litre milk or the more expensive branded milks, choose the cheap milk, thus reducing the market share of the branded products.
City-based consumers have often asked the question, ‘If the price isn’t good why don’t farmers just say no?’
It’s been a hectic 10 days here.
We left for the Gold Coast on the Friday ahead of Australia Day, ready to spend the last weekend of school holidays at the beach.
Our plan was for a lovely relaxing long weekend. The reality was something altogether different. But the loss of a long weekend was the least of our worries.
The cyclonic weather which hit Queensland that weekend has left a trail of destruction in its wake. I know trail of destruction is how the TV news always describes natural disasters. Until now I thought it was a little dramatic … a bit overstated.
Believe me, there’s no other way to describe the mess that the winds and the deluge of water has left behind.
On the Gold Coast we had a couple of very hairy nights, spent listening to high-speed wind gusting against our sliding glass doors. At times I was convinced the doors would ‘pop’. They didn’t and the worst we had to clean up was some water damage to power points and fallen palm fronds.
The heavy rains meant we couldn’t get home to the Scenic Rim, where creeks and dams were rising rapidly until the point they broke their banks and inundated farmers like this.
This footage was taken by Tracey Rieck, who is married to Michael, one of the younger vegetable farmers in our area. It shows the creek behind their farm breaking its banks and gushing through their farms. That’s the Kalfresh washing and packing factory in the background. Much of Mick and Tracey’s beautiful, nutrient-rich topsoil ended up on the Cunningham Highway.
Here they are driving down the muddy Highway after the water subsided.
The picture up Tarome Road, where many of Queensland’s vegetable crops are grown, was no better. Two bridges have been washed out and crops lost.
And here’s the mighty Kalfresh factory … water views anyone?
Farmers around this area were just getting back on their feet after the damage of the 2011 floods. Now they’re preparing to do it all over again.
They’re not alone. Up in Bundaberg, Mundubbera and Gayndah the picture is not pretty. One citrus grower told me the damage is five times worse than that incurred in 2011.
This is some of the damage incurred at Abbotsleigh Citrus in Wallaville. Those shade houses were covering the blueberry trees. The trees were washed away but by some miracle about 6000 have been recovered downstream, muddy but still intact.
Despite the enormous clean-up task ahead of them these growers are looking to the future and have a strong message for customers – Buy QLD produce!!!! They say by continuing to buy their produce, you’re helping them to fund their recovery.
A motivated family up in Wallaville, near Gin Gin, has created a website called Help QLD Farmers. The McMahons run Abbotsleigh Citrus. They have been badly impacted by the floods, which went through about 80 per cent of their orchard. The business is run by Michael McMahon and his sister Clare has a produce marketing business called Fresh Republic. Two days in to their clean-up they looked at the job ahead and realised they needed to get the message out to consumers that farmers needed their support. So they created the website. It shows many of the fresh food brands which are based in Queensland. Look out for them on your supermarket shelves and at the local butcher and fruit shop. If it’s a choice between imported food and locally-grown food, do your bit and choose the QLD-grown food. Listen to Clare talk about it here on Qld Country Hour.
Like the Help QLD Farmers Facebook Page.
And in the weeks and months to come if your fruit and vegetables are a little more expensive than normal, spare a thought for the farmers who are trying to pick up the pieces and take comfort in the knowledge that by supporting their products you’re helping them get back on their feet.
We welcomed Ranger Stacey and the Totally Wild team to Kalfresh recently.
They wanted to compile a story all about carrots. How they’re grown, where they originated and the best ways to eat them.
They came to the right place. The guys at Kalfresh are nothing if not passionate about carrots.
Even today, with just a couple of days to go of the very hectic season, they’re still thinking carrots.
Watch the Totally Wild story – you’ll find the carrots at the 5.18 mark.
And if you’re really keen, here’s a Carrot Fact Sheet we prepared for our Carrot Field Day earlier this year.