Farmers supporting farmers
The dried grape industry has banded together to help rebuild the lives of fellow Australian farmers affected by the bushfires.
Dried fruit growers have vowed to donate the value of some of this year’s harvest, with proceeds going to a charity dedicated to providing relief for farming communities.
Dried Fruits Australia chair Mark King said the fundraiser was started by a group of growers who wanted to find a way for the industry to help.
“Our growers are also feeling the effects of the long-running drought,” Mr King said.
“They’re facing a challenging time – water prices are high, and due to the extreme temperatures a considerable amount of fruit has been burnt.
“But we realise that we’re a lot better off than those who have lost their farms in the bushfires, and we want to do what we can to support them.”
Mr King said all three dried fruit processors – Sunbeam Foods, Australian Premium Dried Fruits and Murray River Organics – quickly agreed to manage the donations.
“As fruit comes in from growers this season, the processors will put aside any amounts of fruit that growers would like to donate and give the total value to a charity,” he said.
“Lots of growers have already donated, but I urge others to commit whatever they can – whether it’s half a bin, a full bin, or more.
“The processors have already donated product to victims of the bushfires and will be making further monetary contributions as part of this fundraiser.”
Mr King said the money would likely go to BlazeAid – a volunteer-based organisation that works directly with rural communities to rebuild fences and other structures after natural disasters.
Dried grape growers who would like to donate to the appeal can do so through their processor.