The Sciacca’s have spent the last 30 years refining their unique trademark certified Ecoganic farming system, which saw them named the FNQ Growers 2019 Charlie Nastasi horticultural farmers of the year.
Their journey began in the last 1980s when they were looking to plant another crop on their 50-hectare Boogan farm and the banana industry was growing. They wanted to farm differently, and not use chemicals and fertilisers. Building on their knowledge of the ecosystem, Mr Sciacca delved deeper into sustainable farming.
Their unique farming system is essentially farming with nature and understanding the importance of the environment and how the natural ecosystem can assist in farming. It promotes sustainable production practices that are good for the environment and the consumer.
They identify our natural capital, the whole picture including grass, weeds, bacteria, fungi, nematodes in the soil. Nature has given all of this to us over thousands of years, in a big web, and each element plays a role. The Sciacca’s developed the system – which combines international environmental management standards with organic based production certification.
In 2000, the first commercial trials of the red tipped Pacific Coast Eco Bananas were launched and in 2002, Pacific Coast Eco Bananas became a registered trademark and four other passionate farmers joined, with a total growing area of 1000 hectares.
Today, the group ships out around 80 tonnes of red-tipped bananas every week, to wholesale markets in each of the capital cities, along with Woolworths. They also export to Hong Kong, with new markets opening up in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific.
The Sciacca’s are in discussions with leading the peak representative body for Queensland’s horticulture industry, Growcom, to deliver the ecoganic farming system to other industries. One of the group’s growers is transferring the system to avocados.