Berries Australia was thrilled to receive a Highly Commended Award at today’s 2020 SafeWork NSW Award ceremony in the Industry Support Category. Berries Australia Chair Peter McPherson said it was wonderful that the industry body was recognised for their significant efforts in supporting growers through the challenges of Covid-19.
“We are a small industry association representing the $2.4 billion dollar berry industry and a huge range of growers from small family farms to large corporate enterprises,” Mr McPherson said.
“It is great to see horticulture represented in these type of Awards as we have unique WH&S challenges with a large influx of seasonal workers onto farms at certain times of the year.
“I am really proud of the team who pulled together appropriate resources very quickly to ensure that our workers and growers were safe and could continue producing fantastic berries for our consumers across Australia.”
“The Covid-19 hub on our website is a fantastic one-stop shop for our members and has had huge traffic since the start of the pandemic as we try to stay on top of health directions and border requirements across the country.”
Executive Director Rachel Mackenzie said that she appreciated the collaboration from the SafeWork NSW and the NSW Department of Primary Industries and it was humbling to be recognised at the Awards.
“This Award highlights that if government is able to work collaboratively with industry then we can really step up to the plate and provide resources and support to our members that is relevant and timely, perhaps in a way that government can’t,” Ms Mackenzie said.
“One of the really encouraging things was that growers were willing to share their good ideas and the resources they had designed for their own businesses so we could improve the sector overall.
“Covid-19 is not over, and the impacts are still being felt in the sector as we are very concerned about not having enough workers or accommodation to house them and we call on the State and local governments to actively engage with us on this issue.
“What this Award demonstrates is that Berries Australia and our members take worker safety seriously and that any workers, local or visa holders alike, should be confident that their safety is a priority in the berry industry.
“I would also like to congratulate the Housing Industry Association who were the winners in this category and thank SafeWork NSW for hosting the Awards.”
For more information about the Berries Australia response and the other Award winners please CLICK HERE