Home' Grower : Dec 2012 - Jan 2013 Contents The South Australian Grower -- December 2012/January 2013
to cost of fresh food
By LECHELLE EARL
THERE has been a huge
amount of talk in recent times
about the harsh plight of our
So many men and women on the
land are doing it hard, with record
high yields and ultra low prices
combining to produce a perfect
storm of tough conditions.
With this in mind, recently
Onions Australia hosted its annual
conference in Toowoomba.
The conference included a tour
through the Gatton region, one of
Queensland's key food bowls.
Tour participants saw firsthand
hand-har vesting of onions, in
stark contrast to the machinery
har vest favoured in southern
It was a real eye-opener to see
the onions being pulled by hand
from the rows, and then trimmed
with hand shears, before being
transferred to bins.
If everyday consumers could wit-
ness such manual labour in action
in order to bring fresh produce to
their tables they may well be pre-
pared to pay more for Australian
fruit and vegetables.
All too often I hear families com-
plain that fresh fruit and vegeta-
bles are too expensive, and that it
is cheaper and easier to buy
processed products. This saddens
me no end as it is imperative that
we support our Australian farmers.
While shopping in my local
supermarket and greengrocers I
regularly find myself stopping to
reflect on the price of Australian
grown produce, and wonder
exactly how farmers are able to
sur vive when the fr uit and vegeta-
bles seem so cheap.
It seems in such stark contrast to
the scene I had recently witnessed,
where hundreds of workers were
doubled over picking onions in
Queensland's searing heat and
high humidity, leaving me won-
dering how I would be able to
cope working in such conditions.
Just a week later I walked into
my local supermarket and saw
those same onions for less than $2
No wonder farmers are doing it
Hand harvesting at Gatton, Queensland.
Photo: LECHELLE EARL
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