Letter to the editor on the article published 21st September – Appalling picker conditions the elephant in the room in the Coffs Coast Advocate

Date: 21st September 2020

Letter to Editor – Coffs Coast Advocate

Janine Watson, in yet another of her articles seeking to portray local farmers in a poor light (Advocate 21st September – “Appalling picker conditions the elephant in the room”), airs a number of unsubstantiated allegations made by the AWU as to the pay and conditions for harvest workers in the Coffs Harbour region.

If the AWU and indeed Ms Watson has any evidence of illegal behaviour then they should provide this to the Fair Work Ombudsman and, where appropriate, local law enforcement.

In doing so they would have the full support of the large majority of farmers who do the right thing. This would be surely preferable to rushing to publish claims which appear to suit Ms Watson’s relentlessly negative narrative about local farmers and in particular the $350 million local berry industry.


Peter McPherson, Chairman

Berries Australia

For further comment please contact Rachel Mackenzie

Berries Australia is a joint venture between the Australian Blueberry Growers Association, the Raspberry & Blackberry Association and Strawberries Australia Inc.