The collapse of another large vegetable growing operation has sent shockwaves through the industry, with tomato farming operation Basacar Produce going into voluntary administration and costing the jobs of 41 workers.
“It is extremely concerning that operations are being forced out of the industry due to increasing costs of production and the slim margins these growers are forced to accept as a result of supermarket pricing tactics,” said AUSVEG Chief Executive Officer Richard Mulcahy.
Basacar Produce is the third major tomato growing operation to enter into administration in the past 12 months, following on from the collapse of SP Exports in February of this year and Barbera produce last September.
AUSVEG is the National Peak Industry Body representing around 9,000 of Australia’s vegetable and potato growers.
“I have written a letter to the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Hon. Joe Ludwig requesting that an official roundtable be convened as soon as possible to address the closure of vegetable growing operations and to prevent such situations being faced by growers in the future,” said Mr Mulcahy.
“AUSVEG enjoys a close working relationship with Minister Ludwig and I am confident that he will respond to this request promptly,” said Mr Mulcahy.
“This industry is facing incredible challenges and something must be done now to avoid the long term negative effects that this attrition will have on the Australian vegetable industry and the Australian people.”
“The closure of operations like Basacar Produce is worrying not only for the Australian vegetable industry, it raises concern about the ability of our Nation to provide for its growing need for food as our population increases,” said Mr Mulcahy.
The Bundaberg based growing operation Basacar Produce went into voluntary administration on Wednesday 18 April resulting in the loss of 41 jobs at the tomato farm.
“Vegetable growers are some of the hardest working agricultural producers in Australia and to see them forced into these situations is simply heartbreaking,” said Mr Mulcahy.
Richard Mulcahy – Chief Executive Officer, AUSVEG Phone: (03) 9822 0388, Mobile: 0418 566 647, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org