Ad campaign to promote strawberry sales

By Country News

More than half of the Queensland Government’s million-dollar rescue package to the strawberry industry following the needle crisis will be spent on advertising.

The government has allocated $1million towards responding to the crisis, and last Wednesday revealed $600000 of that would be spent on a targeted advertising campaign, while $250000 had been allocated for safeguarding supply chain integrity.

Queensland Strawberry Growers Association and Growcom will get $150000 to give to producers affected by the crisis.

Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander was disappointed more money was not being made available directly to strawberry farmers.

‘‘I think there needs to be some sort of investment towards promoting the industry, there’s no doubt about that,’’ he said.

‘‘But I think also that funding should be available directly to these farmers whose lives have been devastated and have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.’’

Growcom and the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association both welcomed the funding, saying it would assist growers with ongoing recovery.

The discovery of needles in the fruit a fortnight ago prompted supermarkets to dump tonnes of strawberries, however, a well-publicised push for consumers to ‘cut them up, not cut them out’ has led to a resurgence of sales.

Police are still investigating the strawberry spikings in multiple stores and locations but say there have been no further reports of needles in strawberries in Queensland since last week.