The Queensland rockmelon industry is ready to bounce back, as the North Queensland season kicks in and growers are keen to spread the message that Queensland rockmelons have not been affected by the recent listeria outbreak in New South Wales.
To that end Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner kicked off the north Queensland season at Brisbane Markets this morning, tucking into some delicious Queensland melons for breakfast.
“It’s terrific to see fresh Queensland rockmelons on the shelf in great numbers. If you are in your local supermarket or fruit and veg shop, pick up a rockmelon.”
“Not only will you be choosing a healthy option for your family, you will be supporting local Queensland farmers.”
Since the news of the NSW outbreak, demand has been down by 50% and both local sales and exports have been impacted.
The Minister says the local industry needs the support of consumers who understand this was an isolated incident which has been linked to only one grower.
Chairman of the Australian Melon Association Mark Daunt says safety is the main priority for Queensland farmers.
“There is no ongoing risk of listeriosis from rockmelons now on sale.”
“The industry has invested in a research project to support rockmelon growers, to ensure their food safety systems are as effective and efficient as possible.
“We are also working closely with our growers and retailers to ensure consumers understand rockmelons are safe to eat.”