A recent rally in Shepparton to help save SPC Ardmona and the Central Victorian Goulburn Valley fruit industry saw a crowd of around 1000 rallying behind a ‘Buy Australian, buy local and toss a tin in your trolley’ chant.
The realisation that the Goulburn Valley’s fruit industry is collapsing has united growers, workers, concerned community members and council representatives as well as parliamentary and union members following SPCA’s announcement the fruit intake from growers around the region would be reduced by 50 percent. Some local orchardists have no choice but to rip up their trees.
Facebook reports many foreign imports on local shelves:
“I just went to the Supermarket to buy frozen Spinach. I had to get my glasses out and they were ALL imported, from Belgium, Netherlands and China ‘JEEZE’……
So I brought fresh. MADE IN AUSTRALIA !!!
My money went to support an Aussie Grower and I know I am NOT feeding my family all those chemicals imports don’t have to declare. Frozen was $1.99 and fresh was $3.00 So worth the extra $1.00.”
All Australian fruit and vegetables undergo domestic screen testing for 135 chemicals, BUT the same imported products are only tested for 50 of these chemicals Figures show that Australia imports approximately $900 million worth of vegetables and yet only one in 20 imported containers are tested Ausveg spokesperson Hugh Gurney says he’s concerned by the lack of testing done on imported produce National Toxics Network’s co-ordinator Jo Immig conducted tests on imported fruit and vegetable and found the products were laced with chemicals
Co-organiser of the rally and creator of the Save SPCA Australian Made and Grown Facebook page, Teena Knight says:
“I was born and bred in Shepparton. Orchards have been a major part of my life and my family has been in the industry for 60 years.
Our food is of the highest quality in Australia and the world…”
Co-organiser of the rally and SPCA employee, Lee Luvara said:
“Like many people in the community be it the grower, be it the contractor or the people employed as retailers, or council staff who rely on rates, the SPCA roots go deep into the community.
If SPCA hurts, we all hurt.”
Greater Shepparton City Council, Cr Fern Summer said:
“SPCA has been the backbone of our community for many generations. Today’s message is simple; support the establishment that supports us.
Choose a supermarket that stocks SPCA products and ‘toss a tin in your trolley.’
It may be that Australian products will cost you an extra 25 cents but that 25 cents will get you more than you bargained for. For an extra 25 cents Goulburn Valley workers can receive a fair days pay for a fair days work.”
I’ll continue buying Goulburn Valley fruit!