Survey shows 1 in 2 Queenslanders don’t know farmers

Survey finds alarming number of metropolitan Queenslander’s don’t really know farmers or appreciate what it takes to feed them—every day, three times a day.

Gladstone, Australia, 9 August 2023: As the Royal Queensland Show (AKA ‘Ekka’) kicks off, Aussie Helpers is raising awareness and appreciation of what it takes to feed our families and our nation after uncovering some alarming statistics.

Gladstone, Australia, 9 August 2023: As the Royal Queensland Show (AKA ‘Ekka’) kicks off, Aussie Helpers is raising awareness and appreciation of what it takes to feed our families and our nation after uncovering some alarming statistics.

Around ~350,000 people celebrate all things agriculture and enjoy ~140,000 iconic Sundae Strawberries every year during the Ekka, with almost three in four attendees coming from the Brisbane metropolitan area.

Tash Kocks, CEO, Aussie Helpers said Ekka famously brought the country to the city, making it the right time and place for metropolitan Queenslanders to consider what it took to put food on their plates—every day, three times a day.

The Aussie Helpers survey of adults in Brisbane and Southeast Queensland found that:

  • 1 in 2 really don’t know farmers
  • 3 in 5 never or rarely visit farms or farming communities
  • 1 in 2 rarely or only sometimes consider what’s involved to grow and produce quality food
  • ~3 in 5 often or always think about where their food comes from and the farmers who grow the food they eat
  • ~2 in 3 often or always feel appreciative about the food available to purchase

The survey found GenX and Baby Boomers, who lived through tough times in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s when Aussie farmers endured catastrophic droughts that coincided with challenging economic conditions, were less likely to know farmers or visit farms and farming communities but had a significantly higher appreciation for farmers than GenZ and GenY.

Tash Kocks, CEO

“We think this is a vital conversation to have considering the current economy, when so many Aussies are struggling with increased costs of living, including many farmers.

“The findings are a wakeup call for all Queenslanders to have greater awareness of where their food comes from and what it takes to produce.

“It’s important to not lose touch with where our food comes from and what it takes to feed us.

“If you’re enjoying in a Strawberry Sundae at Ekka, we’d love you to consider what it takes farming families to feed your family—today and every day, three times a day.

“We’re urging everyone to get to know farmers to truly know and appreciate the food we eat. Because: No farmers; no food,” said Ms Kocks.

The data confirm the sentiment of farmers from western Queensland and New South Wales in a separate recent Aussie Helpers, which found almost nine in 10 said they thought metropolitan Aussies had a lower awareness and appreciation of farming and food production than before.

Ms Kocks said farms were big businesses, run by small teams—and mostly kept in the family, with 99% of Australian farms estimated to be operated by families.

“Farming or ‘work’ is in a farmers’ DNA. It’s their identity and passion—and it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted. But many Aussie farmers struggle in silence.

“Farmers are more likely to experience depression and anxiety and are almost twice as likely to die of suicide when compared to the general population. Shockingly, it’s estimated that one Aussie farmer dies of suicide every 10 days.

“It’s also essential farmers know that they are not alone. Aussie Helpers is driven every day to ensure farmers know that help is just a phone call away.

“All Aussie Helpers team members are certified Mental Health First Aiders and our regular farm visits are a vital lifeline to many farmers and their families. We also connect farmers with additional health services through our Family Support program.

“Aussie farmers might be the last people to ask for help. But when they do need it, we’re here for them—wherever, whenever and however they need us,” said Ms Kocks.

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Helping Aussie farming families this Christmas

Like millions of Aussies right now, many farmers are struggling. And, as hotter and drier conditions return, we’re anticipating more farmers will need our help than ever before.

It’s a tragic irony that farmers work from sun-up to sunset to feed our families—and yet many will struggle to afford a Christmas lunch and gifts for their loved ones.

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Times are really tough for farming families across Australia.

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