The opening of Brisbane’s iconic Ekka is the perfect time for Queenslanders to show support for our farmers.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said many Queensland farmers had faced down big challenges with drought and the monsoonal event that devastated the state’s northwest, but employment in the sector was rising.
“The best support we can give our farmers is by buying the wonderful fresh produce they are becoming known for around the world,” Mr Furner said.
“Queenslanders showed their true colours when they helped to raise $3.8M for the Queensland Drought Appeal.
“Our farmers are showing great courage to invest for the future in the face of tough conditions, and we can all stand shoulder to shoulder with them by buying Queensland produce.
“That’s why we have launched our #eatqld campaign so we can help our farmers spread the word about fresh Queensland produce – the most outstanding produce in the world.
“We want everyone to buy great Queensland produce, snap it, share it on social media and use the #eatqld.”
The RNA is an #eatqld partner, and will show short videos promoting the #eatqld campaign on the main arena screen throughout the Ekka.
Mr Furner said the latest ABS data showed that over the past year there’d been an overall increase in employment in the agriculture sector of more than 10 per cent.
“Sheep, beef cattle and grain production have been the stars of the sector, with a rise of more than 10,400 jobs,” Mr Furner said.
“Food product manufacturing added more than 2200 jobs, with meat and dairy product manufacturing the standouts.
“It is testament to the resilience of the sector that in the face of years of drought there is still evidence of jobs growth in a range of areas.”
Mr Furner said this translated to real employment gains for some regions of Queensland, with the biggest increases in Central Queensland, Darling Downs-Maranoa, Queensland Outback and Townsville.
“It’s further evidence that the Queensland Government’s regional industry development and jobs programs are working,” he said.
Mr Furner said the Palaszczuk Government had created more than 200,000 jobs since it came to office and was committed to continued support for rural jobs in the agriculture sector.
Mr Furner urged Ekka visitors to make the most of the opportunity to get up close and personal with producers who had their best on display.
“This is a great chance to ask about how great Queensland produce comes from the paddock to the plate, the challenges producers face and how Queenslanders can help,” Mr Furner said.
“As well as meeting the producers who are displaying their cattle and other fresh produce at the various pavilions, we have organised a range of producers to appear at the Ekka each day for members of the public to have a chat to.
“We will also have a well-known chef on site on several days demonstrating some of the wonderful things you can cook with fresh Queensland produce.”