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Sustainability Initiatives

Our farms, your fruit

What is Sustainable Farming?

Growing greener
for the future
of our planet.

Sustainable farming is using natural resources in a way that does not adversely affect the environment or threaten human health. Sustainable farming relies on renewable resources (such as sunlight and rain) to produce food and energy. It also uses practices that improve soil fertility and protect water quality, wildlife habitat, and air quality. The focus is on preserving the environment and human health.

Some principles that guide sustainable farming include:

  • Reduced resource depletion through efficient use of inputs such as water, fertilisers, and pesticides
  • Replacing nonrenewable inputs with renewable ones
  • Ensuring equitable access to food by protecting farmers’ rights to grow their own crops or graze livestock on land they have traditionally used
  • Achieving environmental benefits, such as reduced erosion, biodiversity enhancement, and improvement in soil structure
  • Working in harmony with surroundings to improve biodiversity in the local community

Sustainable Farming is
Good for the Environment

Farming in a sustainable manner and using organic methods releases fewer herbicides and pesticides into the environment. It also uses fewer resources, such as water and soil, thereby preserving the Earth’s bounty.  Sustainable farmers recognise their role as stewards for future generations and try to preserve natural resources for future use.

The Flegler family has owned many of their sugarcane and banana farms for generations. We care about the land and wish to protect it so our children can enjoy it the way the Fleglers did as a pioneering family in Tully in the 1920s. Being a farmer is not only a vocation but a lifestyle, so nursing and protecting the environment is a top priority. This includes protecting the land and oceans outside of Flegler Group also.

Neighbouring farmers are close friends, and their children go to school together, the way their fathers did.  Most importantly, protecting the Great Barrier Reef by eliminating any farm wash off into the river systems is always of great importance.

Sustainable farming practices
we utilise


Organic Fertilisers

In lieu of using chemical fertilisers, farmers use organic fertilisers, such as composted manure, fish emulsion, and rock powders. Organic fertiliser is beneficial because it doesn’t contain synthetic chemicals that harm soil organisms, plants, and humans. Flegler Group uses mill mud, lime and chicken manure.

Cover Crops

Cover crops are planted during times when there aren’t other cash crops being grown on the farm. Cover crops help build organic matter in the soil, protect against erosion, and reduce weeds by shading out sunlight from seedlings that would compete with them for nutrients.

Reduced Tillage

Reducing tillage is a type of farming that limits the disturbance of the soil through plowing or tilling. The soil is left mostly undisturbed and crop residues are left on top of the soil to protect it from erosion.

Rotational Grazing

Rotational grazing of livestock is a form of planned grazing where animals are regularly moved to fresh forage. This helps prevent overgrazing and improves the quality of the grasses. Flegler Group owns a small head of cattle and rotational grazing is imperative for the health of the paddock.

Contour Drains

Contour drains break the overland flow of water in a paddock to reduce soil wash off. Typically, an acceptable drain slope is approximately 2%; however, Cameron and Warwick Flegler ensure contour drains are 0.5% which reduces soil wash off even more. Any soil that is disturbed is diverted to a controlled area that captures this soil.

Solar Panels

Utilising the power of the sun, Flegler Group has constructed a small photovoltaic array to generate electricity to power water pumps in Mareeba. It is a cost-effective, renewable energy source that will reduce emissions and supply clean water to Warwick's Mareeba banana paddocks for years to come.

Improving biodiversity
and using natural resources wisely

Another goal of sustainable farming is to enhance biodiversity. Ways that sustainable farming does this is through:

  • Crop rotation – Alternating the crops a farmer grows on a piece of land year-to-year. Doing this helps prevent soil depletion and increases biodiversity by increasing the number of different plants in an area.
  • Integrated pest management – Using methods other than pesticides to control pests, rather than eliminate them entirely.
  • Seed diversity – Planting suckers from multiple local suppliers (seed companies) rather than just one source that is not local. This leads to more diverse produce at your local grocery store or farmer’s market.
  • Farm waste management – Banana and Sugarcane waste products are used as fertilisers for future crops instead of ending up in landfills where they can contaminate groundwater or create pollution problems in other ways (e.g., through runoff).

Improving water quality,
protecting wildlife

Who isn’t concerned with what’s in their water supply these days? Sustainable farming helps improve water quality. To keep lakes clean and healthy, we need to reduce pollution from farms and factories. By using fewer pesticides, fertilisers, herbicides, or other chemicals on crops, farmers can reduce runoff into streams and rivers. This means there are none of these chemicals in our drinking water, as well as in other bodies of water like lakes or oceans, which could affect marine life if they get too much exposure.

Flegler Group implements water quality management to keep the Tully River clean and consequently the Great Barrier Reef.

Another feature of sustainable farming is it helps protect wildlife by reducing pesticide use on fields where animals live or migrate through (such as birds). And since many wild animals depend on crops grown on farms, such as cornfields, because they provide shelter during cold seasons, removing pesticides from those areas would help keep those critters safe, too.

Sustainable farming methods
use natural resources wisely

Water Conservation

Sustainable farming methods rely on wisely using water and conserving it, rather than draining the resources of nearby waterways. The Tully River is the lifeblood of farming in Tully, it is fed water from Lake Koombooloomba which is always sustainably monitored and controlled through the Stanwell Corporation.

Energy Conservation

Cover crops are planted during times when there aren’t other cash crops being grown on the farm. Cover crops help build organic matter in the soil, protect against erosion, and reduce weeds by shading out sunlight from seedlings that would compete with them for nutrients.

Waste Reduction

Sustainable farmers reduce waste wherever possible, including food waste (they use their own green waste as fertiliser and utilise biodegradable materials. At Flegler Group, plastics are re-used to reduce impact on environment.

Freshcare Certified

Freshcare Certified

The Environmental Protection Act 1994 outlines primary duties that must be followed to protect the environment from contamination and harm.  Flegler Group strongly adheres to all duties and obligation outlined in the Act. Furthermore, granted the Act gives guidelines on protecting the environment, but more importantly, it is within Flegler Group’s own best interest to implement ecologically sustainable practices for the health and longevity of the land for generations of us to come.

Flegler Group strictly adheres to the environmental assurance program titled the Freshcare Environmental Code of Practice (ENV3).  It is a program designed to help farmers achieve real environment protection strategies which are divided into two parts.  Firstly, the administration of farm operations in terms of documentation, auditing and training.  Secondly, policy around biosecurity, waste, water usage and soil resource management. Flegler Group is certified as Freshcare Standard Food Safety & Quality holder.

TRF4 Control
and Management

Panama Disease Tropical Race 4 (TR4) is a soil-based fungus that severely impacts the growth of banana trees. As it is ineradicable, infected plantations must employ strict quarantine protocols to inhibit the spread through infected soil, plant material and water to neighboring properties for the overall conservation of the banana industry in Australia.  Unfortunately, TR4 was detected on our Tully Gorge Road property in 2015.

We implement the highest isolation measures to avoid TR4 spreading.  These measures include:

  • No vehicle, farm equipment, inventory, personal protection equipment (PPE), tools, material, components, objects or supplies can be taken off the farm once entered the restricted zone
  • Strict measures are in place for the movement of water, plant material and soil on the farm such as washing down all farm machinery and equipment between paddocks on the farm and capturing this water in designated areas
  • Regularly monitoring, inspection and eradication of trees with TR4 symptoms by internal management and by representatives of the Queensland Government’s Biosecurity Queensland’s Panama TR4 Program
  • Rigorous procedures and protocols to contain any potential TR4 on workers’ boots and clothes with wash down facilities
  • Restricted access to all Flegler Group properties such as locked gates, new erected fences around the entirety of properties, permanent closing of secondary entrances and permission only given to essential personnel. Visitors need formal permission to enter any Flegler Group properties from Cameron or Warwick Flegler prior to entry

About Flegler Group

Our Produce

Flegler Group are third generation banana and sugarcane producers providing situated in Tully in North Queensland.

Our History

The beginnings of Flegler Group began as early as 1947 when, Ron, the grandfather of Cameron and Warwick, planted bananas in Tully


With over 100 employees, and managing 1000 hectares of growing land, find the role you're looking for with the Flegler Group team.


Flegler Group participates in a number of sustainability initiatives and programs to lessen the impact of our business on the planet.