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On the Land

3 June, 2022

Banana CEO calls it a day

AUSTRALIAN Banana Growers’ Council chair Stephen Lowe has farewelled its chief executive officer Jim Pekin who is retiring after a decade in the role.

After more than a decade, Australian Banana Growers’ Council chief executive officer Jim Pekin will retire in November.

“Jim has been advocating for those who grow Australia’s favourite fruit for more than a decade,” Mr Lowe said.

 “He was appointed in the role in the wake of Cyclone Yasi in 2011 and has worked tirelessly on behalf of commercial banana growers since.” 

Mr Lowe said Mr Pekin has successfully represented industry – through strategy and advocacy – on all banana industry issues for a decade. 

“He will leave behind a remarkable legacy, particularly his key role in the management of TR4 in Queensland and the eradication of Banana Freckle in the Northern Territory. 

“He assisted the ABGC’s Board in the purchase of the first TR4 infested property in Queensland, to effectively contain and manage the spread of the disease. 

“He then assisted in the development and implementation of an effective governmentfunded TR4 biosecurity program, that has helped protect industry from rapid spread of the disease since it was first detected in the Tully Valley in 2015. 

“Jim has consistently advocated for better outcomes for growers and has helped move towards a stronger, more sustainable future.” 

Mr Pekin said that it had been a privilege to get to know, learn from and work with board members and other banana growers. 

“Australian banana growers are world leaders at what they do, and I thank them for being so generous with their time, knowledge and friendliness,” he said.

 “When I retire in November I will miss the banana industry, which I am very passionate about. 

It is such an incredibly vibrant industry. I will also miss the great staff that ABGC has and others that I have chewed over banana issues with!”

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