For the annual Field Days, representatives of Australia’s pineapple sector have congregated close to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The two-day event, which includes farm tours, a look at some innovative technologies being utilised by producers, a trade show, an industry supper, and some expert information-based talks, is being attended by FreshPlaza. Around 160 delegates participated this year, which according to Sam Pike, chairman of Australian Pineapples, was a really outstanding accomplishment. It’s incredibly exciting because the sector is currently experiencing difficulty, but the fact that there are so many people here, in his opinion, shows that it is still prospering.
Everyone is having a difficult time right now because to labour shortages, supply difficulties, and pricing increases, whether they are buying fertiliser or cartons. The pineapple sector doesn’t seem to be affected too badly because we are a tough group, perhaps because most of us are Queenslanders. He continued by saying it is encouraging to see so many younger growers entering the field. “I used to be the youngest person there, but now I see a lot of new faces that are incredibly enthusiastic and eager to change, said Mr. Pike. Due to the advancing ages of the farmers, the industry had been declining, but now, according to me, it is holding stable, something the sector hasn’t done in a while.”
Mr. Pike is also the farm manager at Sandy Creek Pineapple Company, which recently constructed bioreactors along the property’s outer perimeter to aid in sustainability by reducing nitrogen washes into the nearby waterways, particularly after heavy rain. Delegates witnessed how this operates up close. “The health of our stream and similar issues will continue to be a top focus; rather than burying our heads in the sand, we are tackling them head-on and seeing tremendous outcomes. With Growcom, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), and the Department of Environment and Science (DES) in Queensland, we are developing close ties. Therefore, the outlook for environmental sustainability is positive.”