THE new chairman of Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers (BFVG) sees exciting - and challenging - times ahead for the industry.
Allan Mahoney, farm and facility manager at Perfection Agri Fresh Bundaberg, was elected to the post last week, taking over from Geoff Chivers.
Mr Chivers, who was chairman for four years, has stepped into the role of deputy chairman.
Mr Mahoney said one of the organisation's main aims was to help its members navigate their way through the maze of rules governing market access.
"Compliance is a major issue," he said.
Mr Mahoney said the Free Trade Agreements negotiated recently with South Korea, Japan and China would provide a big boost to the industry.
"It's a massively exciting time," he said.
Mr Mahoney said the Free Trade Agreements would lead to new developments in value adding to the region's produce, and allow growers to use a higher proportion of their produce.
But there were also challenges with water and irrigation issues.
Mr Mahoney said the high price of electricity was having an effect on fruit and vegetable growers as well as cane growers in the region.
"It has an impact of things like irrigation, the packing sheds and refrigeration," he said.