Piñata Farms managing director to lead AFPA agenda prioritising workforce policy, sustainability and export development

Gavin Scurr

Members of the Australian Fresh Produce Alliance (AFPA) have unanimously elected Gavin Scurr, managing director of Piñata Farms as AFPA chair for the 2024 term. With over 30 years of experience in the fresh produce industry, Scurr will take over the role from Montague’s Scott Montague.

“With the support of the board, I am looking forward to continuing to lead the AFPA’s agenda in improving outcomes for the fresh produce industry. It is no secret within industry that the last three years have been incredibly tough for producers. It is more important now than ever, that the AFPA continues to lead the way with all stakeholders on developing and implementing solutions that will improve the operating environment for fresh produce growers,” said Scurr.

Piñata Farms is a leading Australian fruit grower with operations located across Australia. It produces pineapples, supplying Mareeba Gold pineapples to markets every week of the year. Piñata also grows and markets Honey Gold mangoes and a range of berries, including BerryWorld specialty strawberries and raspberries.

Scurr’s extensive industry involvement includes being a current director at Berries Australia, representing raspberries and blackberries Australia, a director at NT Farmers and the former chairman of the Australian Mango Industry Association.

“Over the last year, Scott Montague has demonstrated exceptional leadership as the chair of the AFPA, spearheading initiatives to tackle workforce challenges, progress the industry’s sustainability agenda and foster industry growth by enhancing access to new and improved export markets. I extend my sincere appreciation to Scott for his dedication and commitment to advancing critical industry matters,” said Scurr.

The election of Scurr has set the AFPA’s agenda for 2024, which again prioritises workforce policy, supporting pragmatic sustainability solutions and enhancing technical market access to capitalise on growth opportunities in export markets.

“We know in industry that accessing export markets will be critical to improving the viability of the sector,” said Scurr.

“There has been plenty of discussion so far this year about competition in the Australian marketplace, and one of the best ways to improve competition for the fresh produce industry is to increase our ability to reach more consumers in more markets. To do this we need a whole of government approach and support for improved technical market access for fresh produce.”

Scurr the industry needed to get its fundamentals right to improve outcomes for all fresh produce growers.

“That means we need to focus on developing a productive and returning workforce, ensuring we have access to the right markets and more consumers, and drive sustainability objectives that not only support improved environmental outcomes, but also ensure economic sustainability,” said Scurr.

“I am looking forward to the AFPA continuing to provide focus, direction, and leadership on the issues that matter most to Australia’s fresh produce growers.”