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.
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