Australia’s peak industry body for vegetable and potato growers, AUSVEG, has called on both the major parties to work with the horticulture industry to help develop clear crisis management plans to ensure governments and industry work together in times of emergency.
AUSVEG national public affairs manager Tyson Cattle said last year’s strawberry-tampering incident showed how an entire industry could be struck down by a random, malicious attack.
“There are lessons which industry and government can learn from an event like this to ensure that the devastating flow-on impact from a similar incident, if it were to happen, will not cripple another horticulture commodity again,” Mr Cattle said.
Protecting our Product is one of the six key messages in AUSVEG’s priorities for the federal election – SPROUT: Growing a better future. I the document, AUSVEG asks government to work with industry to develop crisis management plans as well as clear cross-jurisdictional protocols and communication.
Consumers at home and overseas want to know that their product is safe to consume,” Mr Cattle said. “Australia has a strong reputation for growing safe, quality food which gives our product an edge on world markets.
It’s crucial that governments work together with industry to maintain that consumer confidence and help ensure our horticulture growers are not impacted by issues largely out of their control.
“Growers do their absolute best to deliver premium produce to consumers and industry, and governments need to have proper plans in place to swiftly and effectively deal with issues as they arise.”