News

Beetroot farmers not beaten yet

DOWN, NOT BEATEN: Beetrot farmer Peter Lerch works on his final load for the season.
DOWN, NOT BEATEN: Beetrot farmer Peter Lerch works on his final load for the season.

AS beetroot farmers throughout the Lockyer Valley harvest and process the last of their crops for the season, there may be light at the end of the tunnel.

The farmers, who are responsible for 90% of Australia's beetroot production, will finish up their beetroot season by mid next week following Golden Circle's decision to move processing operations offshore to New Zealand earlier this year.

Lockyer Valley beetroot farmer Peter Lerch was yesterday finishing his last loads after growing the produce for more than 30 years.

"It's a sad day," Mr Lerch said.

"We're just concentrating on finishing the season out and then we'll look at what the future holds.

"We just need to look forward and not back."

Mr Lerch said he had supplied more than 2000 tonne of baby and sliced beet this season and was hopeful for the future.

"We've just got to work at getting something new and something different," he said.

"We're hopeful that there'll be an alternate means and processors to cover in a different format for the future.

"But there is a lot of work to be done to reach that."

However, the Golden Circle move may not spell the end for beetroot in the Lockyer Valley with farmers fighting hard for future alternate means of production.

Farmers United Inc yesterday announced that, after meeting with HJ Heinz/Golden Circle, lingering issues had been successfully resolved.

The Lockyer group's president, Colin Dorber said the terms of the agreements were confidential but offered a brighter outlook.

"However, the agreement clears the way for the Lockyer Farmers United to now progress with certainty on pursuing a range of current options designed to deliver new crop planting, processing and marketing arrangements for a harvest in August 2012," Mr Dorber said.

"These meetings are occurring during this week."We are pleased to announce that negotiations to achieve a transition from discussions to contractual arrangements are well advanced and we have a much higher level of confidence now of securing an ongoing production profile for the previously impacted Lockyer Valley growers.

"It is our intention to announce the outcome of these negotiations as they move to commercial fruition, hopefully over coming weeks."


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Men wanted for car and petrol theft in Lockyer Valley

This man is wanted in connection to petrol station drive-offs and stolen cars.

Police have released images of suspected car and petrol thieves.

A heartfelt donation to help palliative care

HELPING HANDS: Ann-Louise Adams (clinical nurse), Ross Harding, Deb O’Brien (director of nursing/facility manager), Janine Webster (nurse unit manager) and Dr Nigel Brown.

Ross Harding made a special donation to the Gatton Hospital.

Latest deals and offers

Toogoolawah could get a Bendigo Bank branch

A FORMAL steering committee is set to form this week in a bid to secure Bendigo Bank opening a branch in Toogoolawah, local resident Beryce Nelson has said.

Men wanted for car and petrol theft in Lockyer Valley

This man is wanted in connection to petrol station drive-offs and stolen cars.

Police have released images of suspected car and petrol thieves.

A heartfelt donation to help palliative care

HELPING HANDS: Ann-Louise Adams (clinical nurse), Ross Harding, Deb O’Brien (director of nursing/facility manager), Janine Webster (nurse unit manager) and Dr Nigel Brown.

Ross Harding made a special donation to the Gatton Hospital.

Indoor cricket taking off in Lockyer Valley

COMP GROWTH: Michael Scheiwe, Lance White, Jo Maher and Lester Maher have been enjoying a boosted indoor cricket competition.

Indoor cricket is well and truly alive in the Lockyer Valley.

Vegetation forum to be held in Toogoolawah

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington Shadow Minister for Natural Resouces Andrew Cripps at a vegetation meeting held in Beaudesert last week.

Vegetation forum set for Toogoolawah.

RACQ releases SE Qld's worst choke points

Paul Turner, RACQ

Paul Turner from RACQ talks about our worst roads at peak time.

British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Ben Hunt wary of Sharks Halfback

Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.

Ben Hunt talks about Cronulla's Chad Townsend.

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances