THE future of the Queensland fresh produce supply chain has become more secure with the launch of a new collaboration between grower groups and wholesalers.
The Future Fields Summit took place at the Brisbane Markets at Rocklea on October 20 where more than 120 industry experts and opinion leaders came together, including online viewers, to help chart a course for the sector and supply chain over the coming decade.
Attendees included officials from Queensland gGrovernment departments, senior scientists from research institutions, rural bank representatives, prominent market agents, horticulture industry bodies chiefs and business leaders from along the supply chain.
Growcom will lead the initiative with the goal of bringing together key stakeholders along the supply chain and guiding the development of the new industry strategic plan, called Future Fields.
One of the initial parts of the program will be workshops held at key horticulture regions throughout the state, starting in Bundaberg on November 1, followed by Emerald on November 3 and Mundubbera on November 4.
The next series of workshops will then start in the north, at Bowen on November 15 then South Johnstone and Mareeba on November 17 and 18 respectively.
Workshops are also scheduled for southern and south east Queensland early next year.
The Future Fields Summit began with a welcome from Brisbane Markets chief Andrew Young.
In her address at the summit, Growcom chair Belinda Frentz said the future of fresh produce was in the hands of those present.
"It always has been. I am personally looking forward to the conversation we are going to have today," Ms Frentz said.
Growcom chief executive Stephen Barnard said the weight of interest in the Summit from senior stakeholders across the supply chain signaled an optimism about the prospects of fresh produce with a recognition the next 10 years would present yet more disruption.
"As the industry advocate for horticultural producers, we're bullish by nature about the future of fresh produce. So it's pleasing to see so many of our supply chain partners also coming to this conversation with plenty of goodwill and ready to roll their sleeves up," said Mr Barnard.
"While we have all of this experience and expertise together, we'll be gathering their views on what core challenges and opportunities we should be focusing our attention on.
"With a broad scope for Future Fields as a strategic plan, we understand there's a risk of trying to be all things to all people.
"So we're narrowing our attention on just a few key fields where there's big gains to be made, multiple parties keen on working together, and solutions that require collaboration."
Appointments to the advisory committee will be announced soon.
Parties interested in keeping across Future Fields news are encouraged to subscribe for regular email updates, and join the dedicated Facebook group.
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