• Av. temp 16.6o
  • Population 25,400
  • Farms 18

Michael Scarfone

Griffith, NSW

How did you come to be a grower?
I’m a 2nd generation grower so this was something me and my brother took on from the family. I guess as kids watching our parents build their lives here and worked the farm as 1st generation growers, we inherently just became involved with growing. In my eyes, it’s a pretty big feat, to start from nothing and then be able to build a business that can be passed onto me and brother, that’s something.   

What makes you proud to be an Australian grower?
That Australia produces fruits that is exported around the world and in spite of the ups and downs of the industry it still remains strong and a viable business and lifestyle. We grow quality here and remain as true to the origins of the fruit as possible. We don’t’ tamper with it, it’s just a lot of hard work, full time dedication and commitment that goes into what we do. You have to love it and you have to be proud of it, that ultimately makes it all worthwhile.

We have a young growers’ program – what advice would you give the next generation of growers?
Doesn’t matter how old you are, how many years of experience you have or how successful you are – never think you know everything – always listen to advice and keep learning as you go. 

Do you work the growing business on your own, or do you work with the family? What role do they play?
I work with the family, and I think because this was passed on as family business, everyone to some degree is still quite involved. My brother and I largely run it all but this is more than just a job. We don’t every really disconnect the way some other people may in other industries say once they leave the office or something. This is a way of life for me, so when I am always surrounded by it, it’s all the more important that the family are a part of it.

People often think all fruits are created the same, but in reality, quality is hard to produce, can you tell us the hard work that goes behind the cultivation?
That’s exactly right that a lot of hard work goes on in the background to make good produce. It doesn’t get handed to us easily and there are a lot of factors we can’t control like the weather. But this is all part of the job. For the things we can control, we need to ensure that in the cultivation of the fruit that it receives the correct amount of water, the right fertilizer, that it is sprayed as seasonally required – these are just a few of the basics that need to be done to get good fruit.


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