Its spring, the sun is out and the consumption of fruit is starting to rise. Farmers are going full throttle for the fruit season ahead but suddenly one persons actions sparks a chain of copy cat actions that brings the strawberry industry to its knees.
Sewing needles found in strawberries have dented production and laid off workers. The disgusting action of embedding a sharp bit of metal in a food item is horrible, yet it goes further.
Farmers face full impact, from ripping up crops, dumping stock and laying of workers its widespread. The footage of massive strawberry piles dumped to rot is sad because that to farmers is hard work and money, gone. All because of a few sad people wanting to get a kick/thrill or attention.
"Within 3 days we lost it all." Strawberry farmers across Australia are facing devastating losses, as the needle sabotage crisis forces them to dump their crop. Video: Donnybrook Berries. #9News https://t.co/q9Bxiamy0H pic.twitter.com/AiqErGWHnM
— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) September 18, 2018
The attention seeking aspect runs true because banana’s, mango’s and apples would then be discovered to have needles embedded. As users put it on twitter; Food terrorism is aptly named.
Farmers are using metal detectors but still the trust level isn’t strong, who is to stop someone doing the act in the stores? Small scale metal detectors in stores for customer to use as they select their fruit items could be beneficial but it comes at a cost.
Catching those responsible obviously is high priority, yet someone doing these acts usually doesn’t associate with others that can’t dob them in. The penalty for the actions too must be strong to highly discourage this behavior, no suspended community service rubbish that gets dished out now days because “jail isn’t an option”.
I saw on the news tonight that supermarkets are now pulling needles from the shelves. It’s a sad time when not only does the act happen but needing to prevent others from copying it.
Perhaps not heavily publicizing it would help? Not showing the fruit tampering on the front page or at the start of every news channel minimizes the chance of copy cats.
Once those are caught i hope that the farmers it affected return to normal, because Australian strawberries are delicious and for an act to hurt farmers in a way that is out of their control is a dismal way.