Dalby grain and pulse business Agrifoods Australia has strengthened links between growers and the export process by hosting the region’s first ‘paddock to port’ tour travelling from Dalby to Brisbane Port last week.

A group of 36 growers, agronomists and pulse industry members travelled from Agrifoods Australia’s main facility to Australia’s fastest growing container port for a day of education, informative tours and networking opportunities. Agrifoods Australia Director Rob Anderson said the Brisbane Port is considered a cornerstone of the Queensland economy and an important link in the supply chain for growers. “It was great to share with our growers the high level of care, quality and efficiency that is taken with their product through every step of its journey after it leaves the farm,” he said. “It also gave us an opportunity to highlight the value adding that takes place through product segregation and precise grading processes to ensure the products meet the specific needs of a wide array of export customers.”

The tour group, including Food Leaders Australia’s Bruce McConnell, was joined by Agrifoods export customer Australia Choice Exports, before embarking on their guided tour of the facilities by representatives from the Port of Brisbane. Rob said the tour had two-way benefits as not only did the growers learn more about the exporting facilities, but the Port staff learnt more about how the product they distribute is grown. “As a result of the tour, the Port of Brisbane team has expressed an interest in heading west to see for themselves where the journey begins,” he said. “We look forward to taking them on-farm and showing them our grading and packing facilities.”

Tour participant Patrick Lyons, who has a cropping and cattle enterprise based at Nobby, south of Toowoomba said the highlight of the tour was seeing first-hand the technology used in the Patrick Autostrad Terminal. When the Patrick Autostrad Terminal opened in 2007, it was the first automated container terminal in Australia and one of only three automated terminals in the world. “The automation and use of robotics just blew me away,”  Patrick said. “It was really interesting to learn about the huge percentage of agricultural products that are shipped out of Brisbane and to discover that technology developed here has been adopted around the world.”

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