QUEENSLAND citrus growers in the Gayndah region were given a pre-season overview by the industry's peak body last Thursday.
Citrus Australia hosted its Qld Pre-Season Regional Forum at Gayndah to help growers get across pressing issues for the coming season.
About 40 growers attended the forum which covered a range of topics from various speakers.
Citrus Australia chair, Tania Chapman, gave an overview of the Horticulture Code of Conduct and urged growers to ensure they were well aware of their rights and obligations when it came to mandatory Produce Supply Agreements.
"If you don't like the agreement, don't sign it," Ms Chapman said.
She said while there were several industry templates doing the rounds, she suggested going directly to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) recommendations.
"It's important you get this right for your own protection," she said.
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Citrus Australia market information and quality project officer, Mara Milner, delivered details on 2018 season preparations, including discussions held with retailers on trends and retail plans.
Information from out of that meeting included the fact orange sales are in decline while mandarins remain popular, especially seedless.
One point that prompted some discussion was that imperial mandarins have become the store's highest stock loss fruit.
Ms Milner also relayed information that retailers intend to increasingly use data bar stickers on fruit for better traceability.
She said 2018 would see the continuation of the Australian Citrus Quality Standards Project with testing to begin at the end of March.
Other speakers included Scott Cameron from Madec who spoke on employer obligations while Citrus Australia's market access manager, David Daniels, gave an agrichemical update.
Carbotech's Japie Kruger covered the topic of biological products for assisting soil health, a topic also discussed by Bayer's Tim O'Grady who took attendees through the benefits of the company's Serenade Prime product.
NSW DPI's Graeme Sanderson also delivered boxes of the newly released Mandarin Production Manual for growers to take home, while AustSafe Super central Qld regional manager, Tony O'Mara, gave details on what growers needed to think about regarding their financial futures.
Attendees then went on a farm tour before heading to the Gayndah Bowls Club for a barbecue dinner and barefoot bowling, sponsored by Adama.
The industry's next major event will be the bi-annual Citrus Australia Market Outlook Forum.
Tickets have sold out for the forum with more than 150 representatives from the growing, packing and marketing sectors of the citrus industry expected to attend at Sydney on March 14 and 15.