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Matthew Abbott

Nuffield Australia 2016 Scholarship winner


Matthew Abbott, from Mena Creek in far north Queensland, received a Nuffield Scholarship supported by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the Banana Levy and matched funds from the Australian Government.

Matthew studied opportunities for organic farming with a particular focus on sustainable practices in Australia. In addition, he focused on obtaining value through branding, increasing banana value, product identification, export opportunities and potential markets for out-of-spec bananas.

Matthew, his father Robert and brother Ben have been in organic banana production for the past 10 years, having previously grown conventional bananas for 20 years prior to the swap to organic farming.

With sustainable agriculture being the main driver, their belief in the future of organic farming is underpinning plans to expand production by about 20 per cent per year.

Matthew researched organic farming across Asia and South America, looking at banana varieties and systems.

“Organic banana production makes up about 1–2 per cent of the total Australian banana market, but there is opportunity for a lot more growth,” he says.

“I wanted to to see how the big businesses overseas, both conventional and organic, operate from paddock to plate marketing and bring this knowledge back to the Australian industry.

“I would like us to be exporting organic bananas by 2020, with strong demand driving our increased production.”

Matthew travelled to Japan, South America and Europe through his Nuffield Scholarship.

Location: Mena Creek, Queensland,
Mobile: 0427 027 253
matrobabb@gmail.com
Website:
Blog:
Scholarship report:
Returning Scholar presentation:

Matthew Abbott is supported by:

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