Growers to debate banana levy
DEBATE about a compulsory national levy on commercial banana growers will be the top item on the agenda at this morning's Coffs Harbour meeting of the Australian Banana Growers' Council (ABGC), says Tony Heidrich.
Mr Heidrich, the chief executive officer of the ABGC, is visiting Coffs Harbour for the first meeting of the new council, whose members were elected in December under a new structure which came into force in October.
Mr Heidrich said it was proposed that money raised by the levy would be used for research and development, generic banana marketing initiatives and also for elements to do with plant protection against exotic diseases, which could be an expensive process.
Mr Heidrich, who has been joined in Coffs Harbour by five ABGC directors from Queensland, one from Western Australia, and two from NSW, including West Korora banana grower Nicky Singh, said holding the meeting in a growing area gave directors the opportunity to look at techniques and production systems used in that growing area as well as meeting local growers.
The directors toured Woolgoolga plantations yesterday and will meet about 60 local growers at a barbecue at the Jordan Pavilion tonight.
It is the first visit to the Coffs Coast by council directors since 2001.