Building a growing enterprise in far-north Queensland
In a career spanning four decades, fruit and vegetable growers Des and Paula Chapman have endured three cyclones and drought on their Gumlu property in far-north Queensland. However, the couple has bounced back each time and today, Rocky Ponds Produce is thriving.
The husband-and-wife began their fruit and vegetable growing journey with one tractor and one truck for transportation, and no buildings at the Gumlu site and everything had to be developed from scratch.
It came down to trial and error when choosing which crops to grow before Des and Paula eventually settled on three major commodities: melons, capsicum and pumpkin, which they produce along with their son Evan.
Off-farm duties for the family include keeping up with all the relevant laws and legislation; keeping abreast of changes and developments in the industry; being aware of and adopting new trends; ensuring that Rocky Ponds has a competent workforce; being responsible for on-farm capital investment, and maintaining relationships with suppliers and customers.