Everything You Need to Know About Banana Congress 2021

Banana Congress 2021 takes place 12-14 May. It will be held at the Cairns Convention Centre, North Queensland. The biennial Australian banana industry congress looks more exciting than ever and is hosted by the Australian Banana Growers’ Council and MCI Australia.

Those who attended the successful Banana Congress 2019 event, and newcomers to the congress, can register to attend. There is set to be plenty of interest as the congress is an opportunity for those involved with the industry to network, share ideas, and learn about the latest technology, research and development.

This is the 14th instalment of the event and there is an impressive program and list of speakers in place.

Key points

  • Banana Congress 2021 takes place 12-14 May at the recently refurbished Cairns Convention Centre.
  • The event is hosted by the Australian Banana Growers’ Council and MCI Australia.
  • Topics to be discussed include business growth, mental health, technological advances and improving farm efficiencies.
  • Early bird registration finishes at midnight AEST on 5 May 2021 with regular registration commencing on 6 May 2021.

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Topics and speakers at Banana Congress 2021

Topics to be included at Banana Congress 2021 include:

  • Global and domestic marketing initiatives in the industry.
  • Industry wide business growth strategies.
  • Robotics and other technological advancements.
  • Industry related succession planning.
  • Improving efficiencies on farms.

Attendees get to see a variety of guests speakers from diverse backgrounds including:

  • Television presenter Matt Wright.
  • Former rugby league professional and banana ambassador Billy Slater.
  • Matt Church, founder at Thought Leaders.
  • Shane Templeton, President of Australian Ginger Industry.
  • Entrepreneur and innovator Trent De Paoli.
  • Jack Milbank, Founder of Lexi Tech.
  • Andrew Bate, Managing Director & CEO of SwarmFarms Robotics.
  • Mary O’Brien, Founder of Are You Bogged Mate?

These speakers, and many more, are set to create some memorable moments for attendees.

Program Highlights at Banana Congress 2021

Those who register for the full congress have the opportunity to take part in the site tour on Wednesday 12 May. The tour takes place from 09:30 am to 04:00 pm.

It visits the state of the art farming business at Howe Farming, the local Mt. Uncle Distillery for a behind the scenes experience, and FNQ Incubator which helps new businesses reduce the anxiety and financial stress of starting out in the industry.

The official opening ceremony of Banana Congress 2021 takes place the following day, Thursday 14 May, from 08:30 am to 08:45 am.

Other highlights of the day include:

  • The opening keynote address by Matt Church from 08:45 am to 09:45 am.
  • Shane Templeton talking about disease challenges in the industry from 01:30 pm to 02:00 pm.
  • A panel discussion from 05:15 pm to 05:30 pm

There are more engaging experiences for attendees on Friday 14 May including:

  • Trent De Pauli and Jack Milbank discussing innovation and adding value from 08:15 am to 08:55 am.
  • Andrew Bate talking about robotics and automation from 10:45 am to 11:15 am.
  • Mary O’Brien talking about her foundation of Are You Bogged Mate and its work around male mental health issues, reducing the stigma of mental health and suicide prevention, especially in rural communities, from 01:40 pm to 02:25 pm.

The day’s events come to end with the closing ceremony and the Banana Industry Ball and Awards of Honour. The Ball takes place from 07:00 pm to late and the special guest is Matt Wright from Outback Wrangler.

The full program for the event is available to view online.

Registration for Banana Congress 2021

Registration for this year’s congress is open online. Early bird registration closes on 5 April 2021 at midnight AEST with regular registration starting from 6 April 2021.

There is a discount for ABGC Grower Members if they have their unique Grower Member code. There is also a reduced fee for full-time students.

You can register here to attend the two-day congress, the full event, or the social activities.


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