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Qld producers still open for business

Supporting local producers, Phil Rhodes, co-owner South Bank Surf Club restaurant, Brisbane, and chef Sydney Stranger, where only Queensland and Australian produce is used, are pictured with Ballandean Estate winery brand development manager, Stuart Ostle. Picture: RODNEY GREEN

LISTEN to various sections of the media, and you could be forgiven for thinking all of Queensland’s producers have had their operations ground to a halt from the recent floods.

Certainly, many have been devastated by the floods, but a great many are still operating or starting to get back on their feet and have produce and value-added goods to offer consumers.

In response to this situation, a motivated group of business people, primary producers and restaurateurs with the support of the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI), have set up a website, 老域名supportqldproducers.net to allow retailers, wholesalers and growers of local Queensland produce the opportunity to let consumers and potential stockists know how they can still access their products despite the recent devastation.

Support QLD Producers has been set up as a not-for-profit organisation to provide a forum for industry to get the message out that they are still operating and to let Australia know what they have to offer and where it is available.

Stuart Ostle, brand development manager for award-winning Granite Belt winery Ballandean Estate is one of the central figures behind the website.

“Originally I thought, how do we get the message out that we (Ballandean Estate) are still up and running and then I thought well there’s hundreds of other producers in the same position, hence the website,” Mr Ostle said.

“Some people have lost produce but others have lost their market as well, and so some producers are really doing it tough.

“And it’s not just direct damage from flooding but the knock-on effect of not being able to get a product to a market or a market to you because of road closures.

“Australians know that farmers and other primary producers are the backbone of many regional communities, and that so many of them have been dramatically affected by the floods, while many more have lost everything.

“However it is important that we realise that there still are a great number of producers that are still operating, even if at a reduced level, and they still have products to sell.

“We also want to give the producers that have lost everything, including their immediate market, a place to start once they get back up and running.

“The last few weeks have seen many Australians prepared to chip in and help out to get Queensland up and running, so the next time you are wondering `how can I help?’ make sure you choose Queensland grown and help get the producers back on their feet.”

Mr Ostle said while the Ballandean Estate winery itself hadn’t suffered flood damage beyond erosion from huge amounts of rain and burst dam banks, road closures had curtailed a lot of festive season/New Year trade for many cellar doors on the Granite Belt.

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