As you probably know by now, supporting Australian beekeepers and regional communities is a big driver at Queen B. So, we're all for anything that promotes Australian farmers and gets people thinking about the role that our farmers play and what we can do to support them. It's a happy coincidence then that in 2012 we are celebrating Australian Year of the Farmer. Hopefully we'll go on celebrating our farmers every year.
AYOF is about celebrating and enriching the connections between rural and urban Australia. It recognises what farmers do for all Australians. It's about what we eat; about fresh fruit and vegetables (generally pollinated by honey bees), dairy, grains (pollinated by bees), fish, meat (fed on grain pollinated by bees), eggs and about wool, cotton, timber - all the fine quality products that our farmers grow and harvest in large and small businesses. [And about the integral role in each of these activities, played by honey bees - Ed.]
Australian farms and the industries that support them generate more than $405 billion each year, that's 27% of our GDP.Australia's farmers should be recognised and celebrated: for feeding the nation, for leading the world in farming techniques and innovation, and for sustaining the vital agribusinesses that underpin our economy. Farmers are the providers of our nation.
So, to me, the big question is what we can do in our every day lives to support Australian farmers and beekeepers. Here are a few thoughts:
- only buy Australian fruit and veg - and if the supermarkets don't have what you want from an Australian grower, complain. Be belligerent about it. Just last week I bought crushed garlic in a jar because it was the only way of getting Australian garlic (at 10pm for team lunch at the hive the next day)
- Don't buy that wretched $1 milk - it's killing our dairy farmers. Complain about that too.
- Support small producers where you can by buying at farmers markets, your local fruit & veggie store or organic stores
and buy roadside honey directly from a beekeeper... the supermarket stuff is generally a blend of local and imported honey (that is overheated to stop it candying on the shelves).
And here's a biggie...
we're nearing that time of year when businesses will spend literally hundreds of millions of dollars on staff gifts (we hope) and client gifts. Send them our way and we guarantee a gift that will not only be loved by the recipient, but will directly support Australian regional communities. We have gifts ranging from $20 to hampers choc full of honey, beeswax candles and other honey goodness (nougat, beeswax based mens shave soap etc) that range from $75 to $250. We can brand things. We can handle logistics. The sky is the limit.
So, if you work in a business that gives gifts, or you have any friends in high places who organise gifts, please pass on our details. We'd be only too happy to wow them with what the world can look like without another jar of olive tapenade, bottle of wine or overseas made picnic set! And just before you worry that our gifts are really aimed at women, over 80% of corporate hamper recipients are men and in the words of the Head of Marketing Strategy from one of our clients "I just wanted to tell you how beautiful I thought the hampers came out. I hope you are as proud of them as we were to present them to the company. I had many people say how amazing they looked and we received feedback from clients like never before."
Bring it on. We're ready and rearing to go!