[26 March 2021] – A new fire truck is being delivered to the Batlow Rural Fire Service (RFS) Brigade this week, thanks to a bushfire fund initiated by the Sydney Markets Foundation after the Batlow region was devastated in the 2019/2020 blazes.
Batlow, located in the Snowy Mountains region of NSW, has long been known for growing some of the best apples in Australia, and most Australians would have had a Batlow apple in their shopping trolley at one time or another. Carlo Trimboli, Chairperson of the Sydney Markets Foundation, said the fresh produce wholesaler community was eager to step up in support when Batlow needed them.
“Batlow is a critical supplier to Sydney Markets and we have a long association with the region and its growers. Overall, 60% of Batlow’s apples go to Sydney Markets – that’s over six million kilograms or about 50 million individual apples per year,” Carlo says.
“When the bushfires came in 2019/2020, they did terrible damage in a number of growing regions near Sydney and across regional NSW. They destroyed more than 230 properties and claimed one life in Batlow. Our community of wholesalers, marketers and other businesses that help get fresh produce to market was keen to do whatever it could. Sydney Markets Foundation launched its Bushfire Appeal, and I am proud to say we raised $239,600, including $150,000 from Sydney Markets Limited, on behalf of their stakeholders.
“We couldn’t undo the devastation of 2020, but we wanted to do something positive, so we chose to help prepare Batlow for future bushfire seasons by partnering with the NSW Rural Fire Service, using the funds for a purpose-built Category 7 Fire Truck. The Foundation will also provide eight Rapid Spray slip-on tank and pump units to help Batlow and Bilpin land holders fight future fires.”
RFS Assistant Commissioner Rebel Talbert says the donation is greatly appreciated by the Batlow Brigade.
“The generosity of the community and businesses in the wake of the Black Summer bushfires has been incredible, and we thank Sydney Markets Foundation for the kind donation of this fire truck which will assist the Batlow Brigade in protecting its community in times of need,” she said.
The new Batlow RFS fire truck will be on display at Sydney Markets on Friday, 26 March, to give fresh produce wholesalers a chance to see first-hand what their generosity has enabled. It will then head to Batlow where it will be officially handed over to the Batlow RFS Brigade during the Batlow Show.
The Sydney Markets Foundation was able to purchase the fire truck and slip-on tank and pump units through the generous contributions of two anonymous donors, the incredible donation of $150,000 from Sydney Markets Limited on behalf of its stakeholders, and the following additional donors:
• Batlow Rural Fire Service
• WF Montague Pty Ltd
• Akropol Fruit & Vegetable Supply Pty Ltd
• D & C Pisciuneri
• All Seasons Produce Pty Ltd
• Harvest Cove Pty Ltd t/as Seven Springs Orchard
• Samson’s Fruit & Vegetable Supply Pty Ltd
• Mint Produce
• RHJ International Pty Ltd
• BTC Accountants & Business Advisors
• Australian Food Safety Inspection Company Pty Ltd