• Av. temp 17.7o
  • Population 6,733
  • Farms 24

Jatinder Pamma

Leeton, NSW

How did you come to be a grower?
I was actually the furthest thing from a grower. I was originally a policeman working in Sydney! But then I studied Agriculture and realised I had an interest in this area, so my wife and I packed up our lives in Sydney and moved to Corbie Hill. The rest was history. I think I’m actually one of the very few 1st generation growers in this day and age. Most of the growers for Berri Australian Grown are now 3rd, 4th even 5th generation growers I think! There’s still a lot for me to learn, but I’m proud to have taken such a leap and change in my life to go on to pursue the career I’m genuinely passionate about.   

What did you grow when you first started?
Well I’ve only farmed for the last 12 years, which might sound like it’s been a long time, but in this industry, when you’re working with family businesses that have been passed on from generation to generation, I’m considered quite new! So I first started in Citrus farming, and today I’m still in Citrus farming. 

What makes you proud/passionate to be an Australian grower?
It’s a privilege to be an Australian grower working with the daily drinks Co. Obviously, the sense of community and the strong relationship we have with working with one of Australia’s biggest citrus fruit buyers is inspiring for me. I’m also proud to be a 1st generation grower. It’s a different set of challenges my wife and I face and I it’s really not easy as a start-up. I studied Agriculture but didn’t have the real life experience to fall back on, so everything I knew I learnt from books. Applying it in real life is a huge job and nothing in books can completely prepare you for.  

We have a young growers program – what advice would you give the next generation of growers?
Keep talking – communication plays a vital role. This is across all aspects. Talk through the challenges and share the hardships with others. This in turn will help yourself but also prepare others if they happen to go through something similar. If we discuss all our problems and share with the next generation of growers it would help a lot in that there would be minimal rude surprises. And this industry is always changing, there’s always something you don’t know, so keeping open communication will help to allow a collective approach to issues that might be new or challenging. 

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?
We believe in quality as compared to quantity. Working in a farm, we’re really subjected to the weather, so sometimes when our plan doesn’t go the way we imagined it would go, for instance due to heavy rains across consecutive days, then that throws our whole schedule out the window. So sometimes this would mean we have to work at night and very early mornings as well to adapt to the changing weather conditions. 

Do you work the growing business on your own, or do you work with the family? What role do they play? 
My children are young at the moment, one’s 12 and the other’s 10 but my wife, Jagdeep, helps me all the time on the farm! It’s a family business to us.

jatinderfamily jatinderfamily2