2023 officially marks 100 years of operation for Growcom, Queensland’s peak industry body representing fruit, vegetable, and nut growers.
Horticulture has played such a significant role in the development of communities across Queensland and is an industry none of us can live without, providing us as consumers with some of the best food products in the world.
What is shaping up to be a year of celebrating horticulture kicked off last week when Brisbane’s Queens Garden was creatively turned into a mini pineapple plantation overnight by Growcom and horticulture supporters. Queens Garden was the site for the state’s very first pineapple plot in 1838 and making it a fitting site for the official launch of the Year of Horticulture on Friday, 3 February.
It was great to see pineapple as the first commodity to be highlighted as part of a year-long awareness campaign of the state’s 104 various fruit, vegetable and nut crops, particularly in light of the current challenges facing pineapple growers.
The unseasonal temperatures and significant rainfall caused many plants in the south east (and into central Queensland) to flower at the same time meaning growers are having to picking their entire crop right now, instead of picking throughout the year. This has resulted in a glut of pineapples on the market, but after this, consumers will have to wait for them to flower again and regrow, which can take up to two years, meaning the glut will be followed by a pineapple shortage. So, now is the perfect time to get your pineapple fix and at the same time, help our local farmers through this challenge.
Queensland grows 99 per cent of the nation’s pineapples worth over $45 million and 100 per cent of Australia’s fresh pineapple supply comes from Australian growers.
The Year of Horticulture will provide the perfect opportunity to highlight the history of the state’s horticulture industry and raise awareness amongst consumers of the work and costs that go into producing one piece of fruit, veg, or nuts.
As a part of last week’s activities, Growcom took the opportunity to announce their new advocacy and engagement arm – Horticulture Queensland. This move will see even stronger representation for fruit, vegetable and nut growers into the future.
So get involved and celebrate horticulture, an industry not just important to our economy but critical to our individual wellbeing, health and way of life here in Queensland. Stay tuned to see where the next pop-up celebration will be and follow along on social media using the hashtag #YOH2023.