Market bans local strawbs
Market bans local strawbs DAVID Montgomery is proud to be a Tweed farmer but is appalled he has been blocked from selling his produce, juicy strawberries, at a local market. "Davy's Strawberries", grown on his family farm at Dulguigan, north of Mur- willumbah, have been banned from one of Tweed's largest regular weekend markets at Kingscliff. To Mr Montgomery's dis- gust, the market has given priority to a strawberry farmer from Caboolture north of Brisbane. According to organiser Margaret Kiss, Caboolture strawberries are simply "the best in Australia". But she said Mr Montgomery would get his turn once the season for Caboolture straw- berries is over.
With strawberries ripen- ing by the day, Mr Mont- gomery has found it neces- sary to travel as far afield as Maclean near Grafton to sell his stock. "I get my fruit coming on all the time, so I've got to be moving it all the time," he said. "Kingscliff is handy, it's a good-sized market and there's room for other people." Mr Montgomery who has 33,000 plants growing at Dulguigan said it cost $100 in fuel each time he heads off to the Maclean market. "I just can't understand why I'm not let into Kings- cliff," he said. "I thought local growers would be able to sell at local markets. I'm a hard worker. I work from sun-up to sundown and at night as well."
Ms Kiss said she had told Mr Montgomery he could sell at Kingscliff once the Caboolture farmer's season is finished, probably from the end of this month. "Caboolture strawberries are the best strawberries in Australia," she added. "The Caboolture season starts in June and I'm not going to tell him he can come for only a few weeks. "I only allow one straw- berry person at a time. I don't want six of the same things at one market other- wise all they are doing is cutting their own throats." Ms Kiss said NSW had a glut of strawberries which could not compete with the Queensland fruit and farm- ers "should do their market research before the put in 40,000 strawberry plants".