It’s great to see so many people getting the “cut ‘em out, don’t cut ‘em out” message with strawberries, but we shouldn’t wait for a crisis before we support our farmers.

Here at NSW Nationals we were shocked to hear about people being hurt after eating contaminated fruit and we joined with our Federal colleagues in condemning those stupid acts. We’re glad that the penalties have been toughened up and that there’s more support for our Aussie growers.

But just like with the recent milk price debate, Australians shouldn’t be waiting to be told to buy home-grown produce. Our nation has the world’s finest fruits and vegetables with a well-deserved reputation for quality. Whether it’s North Coast milk or Riverina rice, beef from the Northern Tablelands or fresh oysters, we truly do have some wonderful food just waiting to be put on the table.

We know that some people are doing it tough and we certainly wouldn’t begrudge anyone for balancing their household budget, but where possible every Australian should try to buy local. The Nationals in Government are responsible for some fantastic food labelling laws so you can easily see where your groceries come from. But beyond that, there are great farmer’s markets, green grocers, butchers and bakers all over our great State.

So the next time you want an apple, try to find one from Batlow. Buy SunRice from Leeton instead of the imported stuff. And if you’re after some milk, make it Norco or Riverina Fresh. Together, we can all help to keep our great farms in business.