More than 60 cashew growers have complained to the Australian Government about growing conditions and not being allowed to sell their crop on the black market.
The growers, who operate under the Trade Me sign, claim they are struggling to sell to supermarkets, who are in the process of banning the importation of their cashew crop.
“We are in serious trouble,” said Sam Carter, owner of A-G Farm in Brisbane’s west.
“It’s been over six months and we’re not allowed to do anything, it’s like a death sentence,” he said.
Mr Carter, who is also a licensed gardener, said growers were often unable to get permission to plant their own crops because they lacked a licence.
“You can’t get it through any process, because you’re not permitted to grow,” he told ABC Radio Brisbane’s AM program.
“If you are a commercial operator you can’t just go to the supermarket and say ‘I’ll plant this for you, I’ll plant that for you’ because there’s no way you can get that licence.”
The Queensland Government last month issued a statement saying it was reviewing the import ban, but did not comment on the growers’ complaints.
The Queensland Federation of Growers said it was not yet aware of the issues facing the growers.
“The growers in Queensland have had some issues with their cultivation operations and they are concerned that they may not be able to continue with their business,” the Federation said in a statement.
“They would like to hear from the Queensland Government about any plans to remedy the situation.”
This is a matter that needs to be resolved urgently.