On 15th March 2015, Panama Tropical Race 4 was confirmed to be found on a banana farm in the Tully Valley. Since this confirmation, quarantine procedures across all banana farms in North Queensland has changed and we believe that banana farming in this area will never be the same. More information on this disease can be found in this fact sheet.
At Howe Farming, we have recently introduced new biosecurity measures on all of our banana farming properties. These measures have not been designed to inconvenience our staff, suppliers or visitors to our properties. They are what we consider necessary in order to secure the future of our business and protect our employees’ jobs.
In order to eliminate unnecessary traffic in and out of our facilities and prevent the possible spread of any soil-borne disease, the following measures have been put into place:
- Vehicle wash down stations are being implemented at all main entrances
- Foot baths at all main entrances
- Minor entrances closed and barricaded
- Screening of all inbound vehicles
If you are a current employee, we advise that you catch the provided bus service to work each day. If you choose to drive your own car to work, you will be required to park outside the entrance and be shuttled into the farm in one of our vehicles. You will also be required to walk through a foot bath to sterilize your shoes before entering any of the farms.
For prospective employees, we require you to contact our main office for any employment inquiries. Access to our farms will be refused if you do not have an appointment. If you have recently been working on or seeking work at other banana farms in the area, please advise the office so that your vehicle and shoes can be washed down appropriately.
For any pickups or deliveries to occur, we require your vehicle to be washed down and preferably free from contact with any other banana farming property prior to arrival. All drivers and passengers will need to walk through a foot bath at the gate before entering the property. Any vehicles containing excess mud or dirt will be refused entry until they are appropriately washed down.
Any sales or service calls will need to be scheduled through our main office. All sales and service representatives will be refused entry unless an appointment has been made prior to arrival.
Regretfully, we have ceased all on-farm sales, including the sale of waste bananas for stock feed. Ripe bananas and avocados (when in season) are still available for purchase at Walkamin Service Station on the side of the Kennedy Highway.