THE TIME IS NIGH: Rick Twist has mixed feelings about the closure of his 46-year-old strawberry farm in Chevallum. His family has shifted into turf farming.
THE TIME IS NIGH: Rick Twist has mixed feelings about the closure of his 46-year-old strawberry farm in Chevallum. His family has shifted into turf farming. John McCutcheon

Be honest, we took farmers for granted

THE fragility of agriculture industries has been brutally exposed by the damage of the strawberry contamination saga.

It's impossible not to feel the pain of dedicated farmers as they dump their livelihoods in a sweet, vibrant mess of waste.

Succulent fruits which should fetch premium prices, but in reality, were yielding barely enough to keep farms afloat, have been tipped out by the tonne.

Many of us were probably prepared to take the extremely slim risk and continue to bite into berries.

My daughter loves them.

A closer examination before she tucks in takes a little longer, sure, but it's not a huge burden.

The state produces about 60 million punnets of strawberries a season.

Less than 10 needles found. A basic grasp of maths will tell you the chances of being a victim are minuscule.

The media shouldn't be blamed for this.

There was a genuine safety risk to consumers.

If someone had swallowed a needle unsuspectingly and died and the media had known and not widely broadcast the threat, there would be even louder calls for reporters' heads.

If we're really honest with ourselves we've taken farmers for granted for far too long.

How many of us kept marching into supermarkets as they ripped the heart out of the meat and dairy industries?

No doubt the same group who continued to snap up strawberries at supermarkets when the margins on punnets had been slashed so thin farmers were dropping out of the industry.

Think before you buy.



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