15 April, 2022
GROWERS FEEL PRESSURE FROM ESCALATING INPUT COSTS AND POOR RETURNS
THE region’s peak horticultural body has warned that growers are facing their biggest test yet with poor returns, escalating input costs and labour shortages severely impacting profitability.
FNQ Growers president Joe Moro said record-high input costs and lack of movement in the price received from buyers was testing growers’ confidence.
“Horticulture, like other commodities, is all about planning,” Mr Moro said.
“But at the moment, it’s costing growers more to grow a crop, yet they are being forced to sell that crop well below the cost of production.
“Margins are critical for any business owner – and when they shrink or disappear, growers need to re-evaluate.
“For some, the risk is too great.
“Our growers are among some of the most resilient farmers, especially when dealing with adversity like that thrown at them by Mother Nature, but the challenges they are currently facing may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”
Mr Moro said growers have historically been at the whim of market forces.
“Having dealt with the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and now having to deal with major external influences out of their control is admirable,” he said.
“There needs to be some confidence injected back into the sector.”
“While the fuel excise announced as part of the recent Federal Budget is a welcome relief for households, it does little for our farmers who are forced to pay at least double and in certain situations and sometimes triple for farm inputs.
“One way to inject confidence is to ensure that growers receive a fair price for their produce.”