The senselessness of sabotage


There is a Facebook photo with a picture of a strawberry saying: ‘cut ‘em up, don’t throw ‘em out. Please continue to support Aussie Farmers through berry tough times.’

What a great campaign created through horrible circumstances.

I wonder what makes someone or some people want to bring an industry to its knees? What trauma has happened to them to feel the need to hurt and bankrupt businesses, because surely, they wouldn’t do something like this, just for the fun of it. Would they? Perhaps I’m being naive?

Out of interest, I googled ‘sabotage within the agricultural industry’. Do you remember 2010? Seven million tomato seedlings were poisoned in north Queensland. What also came up under my search criteria was: live export, crop sabotage and among others, an attack on a battery hen farm in 2012. This was orchestrated by animal activists who thought they were raising awareness and ‘doing good’ but in fact endangered the lives of 30,000 chooks and a farmer’s business.

As an industry, we have a responsibility to the people we feed, to make sure our products are grown within the best practices of each different businesses we’re in, whether it’s meat, fruit or vegetables.

But how can we be responsible for an outside factor like someone placing needles within a product or purposely putting chemicals within a watering system to kill plants? Or revoking the licences of Live Exporters.

We can’t.

Australia is known for its ability to grow safe and healthy foods. Our standards are some of the highest in the world. People buy our products because they trust our brand. Trust is imperative and each time something like this happens, the trust waivers.

Through no fault of the farmer and yet they are the ones penalised.

I guess with each event like this, changes will be made; how the stock is picked, packed and transported. There will be new protocols put in place. The saddest thing about this is that it even needs to happen.

So, what is the best way to make sure someone’s malice doesn’t bankrupt and dissolve an industry worth millions of dollars? To keep buying the product. To be careful but not boycott the industry.

Through the senseless acts of a few, we can’t let hundreds of families, farmers and employees lose their livelihood.

Let’s make sure we: ‘cut ‘em up, don’t throw ‘em out. Please continue to support Aussie Farmers through berry tough times.’


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