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Growers unite to move capsicum glut

Eliza Rogers, Monday August 19, 2013 - 14:09 EST
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An oversupply of capsicums has sparked a partnership between growers, wholesalers and government. - ABC

An oversupply of capsicums, a warm winter and a lack of market research have sparked a partnership between major food hubs Bowen and Bundaberg.

Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers (BFVG), the Bowen Gumlu Growers Association, BrisMark and the Queensland Department of Agriculture have launched a marketing research project to boost sales of winter vegetables.

But how do you promote winter food during a lacklustre winter?

Executive officer of BFVG, Peter Hockings, says bright signage and brochures will be placed near capsicums in greengrocers around the Brisbane area.

He says prime growing conditions and an overlap between a longer southern season and earlier northern season had created an oversupply.

Meanwhile, the warmer winter has reduced demand, and therefore the price, for both the consumer and grower.

But Mr Hockings highlights the marketing hook.

"You can get some great quality product at a very cost-effective value."

He reminds consumers that high prices on the shelf don't equate to high returns to the grower. In the past year, he says, growers received as little as 20 per cent of the retail value.

Project partner Brismark represents more than 50 fruit and vegetable wholesalers in the Brisbane Produce Market.

Marketing executive at BrisMark, Vikki Leng, says the company wants to support the Bowen and Bundaberg growers that regularly supply the market.

"We have a consumer education program through our independent greengrocers, and the Colour Your Winter capsicum program just alerts the consumer to the beautiful Queensland capsicums that are prolific at this time of year."

She says the project has created quick and tasty recipes that suit all seasons (not just winter), like stuffed capsicum with lamb, currant and mint, and a capsicum medley with roasted chicken.

BrisMark wants participants to give feedback during and after the project.


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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