Do you know where your strawberry’s been?
QUEENSLAND strawberry consumers may soon know the back story of their fruit as state government money helps firm up traceability and integrity in the supply chain, improving industry export opportunities.
Industry spokesman Sean Dignum says the strawberry industry, and Australian food production generally, already has an enviable global reputation for food safety and security.
But directing part of the State Government's $1 million industry assistance package, announced following the September sabotage, toward firming up details of the supply line would only further benefit the industry.
Establishing "provenance'' of food is a rapidly growing global trend as consumers seek not merely safety and security, but the novelty value of knowing the background of food production.
"Improvements to the system will better establish the quality of the product at the time it leaves the farm gate,'' Mr Dignum said.
That will be of great benefit not only to the consumer, but to the farmer.
Strawberry growers like Kiara Carmichael, pictured here picking strawberries with sons Patrick, 3, and Owen, 2, on the iconic Sunshine Coast farm Strawberry Fields, have expressed thanks to the Queensland community which got behind the industry following the September sabotage where needles were inserted in fruit.
The industry is expected to make a public declaration of appreciation within the next few weeks after consumers flooded onto farms to buy strawberries and businesses, including Newstead Brewing Co, which came up with innovative ways to use strawberries.
Newstead marketing manager Darren Magin said the brewer was happy to make a strawberry beer to help growers.
But it was stunned at the public reception, which was so positive there are tentative plans for another batch.
"It was just an extremely good beer, so definitely we might look at doing something early next year,'' he said.