Bee's Creek

  • Av. temp 27.6o
  • Population
  • Farms 4

Barry Albrecht

Bee's Creek, NT

How did you come to be a grower?
In 1981 I watched my mate pack fruits, and I had a few trees myself and saw that this was a viable business to go into and decided I’d have a go at it, and just went from there really. I bought my first property in Queensland and then moved up to the Northern Territory and expanded the business there. I started small, getting through roughly 5 pallets of fruit a day, and today I’ve developed over 27,000 trees and pack 5 – 8 thousand boxes of mangoes a day and oversee 140 staff.

What makes you passionate to be an Australian grower?
I like the lifestyle and love the people. It’s a laid back lifestyle with no hustle and bustle; I live in Darwin and it’s a great place to live. And because it’s just a way of life, you don’t really think about or hang out for the weekend as growing can be any day of the week, so you come to embrace it and enjoy it day by day – it helps that I can go fishing any moment I have free time.  

I grow Australian fruit and that’s simply what I’m proud of. It’s the right place and the right climate with the right people to produce some of the best quality fruits to the local and international market. 

We have a young growers’ program – what advice would you give the next generation of growers?
It’s a good industry, so do it well. Embrace the lifestyle that comes with it and know that you will get back what you put in. No doubt there will be ups and downs, but it’s all a part of the experience.  

Quality is hard to produce, can you tell us the hard work that goes behind the cultivation?
For starters, the Australian quality standards are spot on. The knowledge and practice in this country are ahead of everywhere else. 

But you yourself as a grower need to know what it takes to grow good mangoes. You need to know your soil, the nutrients, conduct leaf tests and on top of all of this, get the timing right. You just need to pray that the weather delivers what you need, and for mangoes, that’s tropical weather. 

What do you see in your future with growing Mangoes?
It’d be great to see this passed on as a family business. I started this farm and I love everything involved in growing, so it’d be nice to see all this continue. For myself though, I think I’m just going to be growing until the day I die. I’d be bored if I retired….who would I talk to??

What’s an important lesson learnt over time as a grower?
You will make mistakes, that’s for sure. Learn from them and do better next time. It’s about how to adjust. You’ll think you’ve got it right, but something will beat you again, but for every time this happens, know you’re getting closer to getting it right next time so don’t beat yourself up over it. There is only so much you can learn from a book, but to actually be out there and learn in the environment- that will take you a long way.