We were overwhelmed by the extraordinary generosity of the Australian people raising over $55,000 last year to help support our industry

With those incredibly kind donations we created the #berryloved fund which has been used to run a whole series of workshops for our Queensland strawberry growers which have provided mental health support, small business advice and business diversification opportunities to help them to build a more resilient business.

So far we have held:

• A Women’s Wellness Lunch at Marcoola in February 2019 which provided stress management techniques, ideas for how to stay mentally strong and to build stronger support networks within the women of the industry
• A Business Information workshop in Caboolture covering essential business topics including Fair Work obligations, border security, Australian Tax Office, Work Cover, Workplace Health and Safety, Industrial Relations, Queensland Fire and Rescue (grower training and information)
• An Agri-Tourism Tour to Sunshine Coast hinterland looking at successful diversified agri-businesses harnessing the trend for agri-tourism experiences.  This also provided rare opportunities away from the farm for growers to build new networks

Still to come:

• Industry lunch in October with comedian & mental health professional Mark McConville to celebrate the end of the season, build resilience through laughter and further strengthen the connections between growers
• Some individual farmers have been more severely affected than others and so there will be mental health support packages tailored according to individual needs
• Business Coaching will also be made available to help the smaller or more vulnerable farm businesses strengthen their organisation through diversification, improving growing or business practices