A lot of emails fill the Business Insider inbox, from politicians, police, PRs and many many more, so catching our eye is difficult, but we want to send a bouquet to Senator Richard Colbeck’s media officer for an eye-catching (and watering) release today.
Last night the Tasmanian Senator was in Brisbane as parliamentary secretary to the minister for agriculture to present a Tassie farmer with “the Australian onion industry’s most prestigious award”.
Wow! The Oscars of onions. The most prestigious award too! How many onion awards are there?
Sure we had a little chuckle to start, but then we thought about how important this industry is to Australia and thought we’d share facts and figures to share with mates next time you’re standing around the barbie frying onions.
The industry figures estimate its worth at around $181 million in gross production at 240,000 tonnes. Not much has changed in the past decade when it comes to those numbers.
Australians consume around 11 kg of onions each a year. It’s the country’s fourth largest vegetable crop – 9% of total vegetable production – and there are around 380 onion growers nationally. Exports are worth about $27 million and Tasmania produces around 85% of exports, while South Australia supplies two-thirds of domestic consumption.
Farmers pay $4 a tonne – about 1% of value – in levy for onion research and promotion, because even onions need a little good PR from time to time.
Tassie farmer Brian Bonde won the prestigious Reg Miller Award, named after a South Australian bloke who dedicated his life to onions, setting up Onions Australia, for his efforts for the onion industry.
To find out more, read the Senator Colbeck release that caught out attention below:
Tasmanian farmer Brian Bonde was awarded the Australian onion industry’s most prestigious award at a function in Brisbane last night.
Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, said it was an honour to present the Reg Miller award to a fellow Tasmanian and commended Brian on his dedication and passion.
“Brian has made an outstanding contribution to the onion industry over many years, including accepting the role of Onions Australia Chairperson in 2008 and leading the industry push to modify the onion levy system,” he said.
“He has dedicated countless hours to the industry and has never hesitated to put his hand up to help. It is fantastic to see his contribution recognised through the presentation of this prestigious award.”
Brian is a fourth generation farmer and his industry involvement includes serving as Chairman of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) Vegetable Council, Chairperson of Onions Australia (OA), and, until recently, a member of the OA Executive Committee.
Just like an onion, there are many layers to Brian and he’s well known in North-West Tasmania for his role in the agriculture industry as well as involvement in rodeos, the Rotary Club of Ulverstone and many other pursuits.
The Onions Australia Reg Miller award recognises the heart and soul of the business and awards people who have made outstanding contributions to the Australian onion industry.
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