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Here in Bundaberg, we live in a stunning patchwork quilt of life, as you fly over our amazing region it looks like something that your Mum, your Nan, a great woman stitched together, YET what it really is, is a multitude of crops knitted together across a vast range of fruit and vegetable businesses.

Recently, Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers and Growcom brought together an inspiring group of 35 women all involved in one way, shape or form in farming across our region. This showcased the amazing diversity of roles and the vital support that these roles provide.

What does it mean for women to be working in agriculture?

To some of us, it is a job, a way to pay the bills and to others, it is simply a way of life, whatever it is we are all driving to put food on the table for Australians. The clear stand out was the ability to be vulnerable, to ask questions, to be ok with not understanding and learning but more than that to understand that we are all different and bring different things to the world of farming. 

Yet for some, it is simply the support to the family after a busy day but for many, it is day to day running of the farm, management of staff, ordering products, selling, developing staff, marketing. Ask any farmer if ten years ago that they thought there would be a need for marketing managers, social media teams, bloggers, drones and photography and I think we would all know what the answer would be and now this is the new normal. With the changes to the world that Covid-19 will bring we will need to think differently about how we move around the country, how we sell and how we communicate.

Bree Grima from Bundaberg Fruit & Vegetable growers said:

“It’s all about women owning their positions and having the confidence to put their hand up for a position they may not have considered before”

AustChilli & diversity

In our business at Austchilli, we can proudly say that over 40% of our workforce is female and this adds diversity to the team and allows us to think differently. It isn’t about employing women over men or vice versa, it’s about understanding what an individual can bring to the table irrelevant of gender. As a team, we are able to work together, educate and empower which only makes the business stronger.

Agriculture is a bit like sport; what used to be a man’s world is fast developing into an environment where we can all thrive and inspire others to be the best they can be. We should circle our Region’s women with a belief, trust and hope for the future. We should empower and educate our youngsters to believe that there is a future in whatever role they choose and continue to grow our fantastic patchwork quilt of life.

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