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Sciacca duo named Farmer of the Year

Frank and Dianne Sciacca of Pacific Coast Eco Bananas, Boogan, were named the 2019 Charlie Nastasi Horticultural Farmer of the Year, at the FNQ Growers gala dinner on Friday night.

BOOGAN’S Frank and Dianne Sciacca have added to their stellar reputation in the horticultural industry after they took home the prestigious 2019 Charlie Nastasi Horticulural Farmer of the Year Award.

The award was part of the Far North Queensland Growers dinner held at the Mareeba Football Club on Friday night, which aimed to recognise those within horticulture in the region who have exhibited exceptional innovation and leadership in the industry and within their respective communities.

The Sciacca family has been at the forefront of innovation in horticulture, as their eco-friendly red tip bananas have been crucial in the fight to save the reef for nearly two decades.

Their win on Friday night was not the first time Frank and Dianne have been acknowledged for their important work, as they were awarded the coveted Prince of Wales Environmental Leadership – Reef Sustainability (Reef Champion Award) in 2017.

Mrs Sciacca said it’s a privilege to once again be honoured with such a sought-after accolade.

“It’s wonderful to be recognised in this fashion,” Mrs Sciacca said.

“I think the length of time we’ve been introducing innovation into our practices coupled with our overall work in production, marketing and growing has enabled us to come away with tonight’s award.”

Their decision in the early 2000s to move away from some of the imbalances created by conventional farming has made a significant impact on not only their business, but also the environment.

“The only consistent thing is change, and to be able to embrace change is critical,” Mrs Sciacca said.

“Farmers often tend to not like change; however there are a number of new generation growers in particular who are enthusiastic about implementing environmentally-friendly practices which is great to see.”

Mr Sciacca echoed his wife’s sentiments, alluding to the need for continued innovation in farming to ensure there is profitability in the industry without harming the environment.

“We have to respect our farms and be better managers of the earth,” Mr Sciacca said.

“It is extremely important for us to leave a healthier planet for future generations and that’s what Dianne and I have been striving to do for so many years.

“Australia are world-class when it comes to farming practices, but there’s still work to be done and I look forward to continuing to be a part of that push towards a greener and cleaner world.”

Mr and Mrs Sciacca said they would like to thank the Nastasi family, FNQ Growers and their fellow peers at the dinner for their recognition.

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