Dumped strawberries at the South Australian Produce Market. Picture: Supplied
Dumped strawberries at the South Australian Produce Market. Picture: Supplied

Terrorism against our farmers must not be tolerated

The needle saga is terrorism against our local farmers.

Our farmers are already doing it incredibly tough with a terrible season of frost and drought. This may be the needle in that breaks the camels back (no pun intended) for many who have no choice, but to sell up their business and/or properties.

It may not be long before we find ourselves having to source exported (not-so) fresh fruit and vegetables.

It's a not-so-happy coincidence that this act of terrorism coincides with the plastic bag ban. No doubt supermarkets will use the events of the past few days to justify extra tamper-proof plastic wrap on fruit and vegetables. Plastic producers will see this disaster as a massive win.

Instead of completely revoking strawberry orders, Coles and other retailers should invest in the hire of metal detectors to be used at checkouts or use their staff to cut the fruit up to put into salad containers.

The supermarket retailers could use the strawberries to make smoothies, juices or jams and sell these in store to customers who are keen to support their local farmers.

The big retailers should subsidise the cost of this so that the farmers can make some form of profit. It's evident that Coles does not care about its local producers.

The fear of litigation and making a profit are cornerstone to its business model.

Alternatively, instead of sending strawberry crop to landfill, producers should donate this to Food Bank so that this food can feed the nation's hungry.