The industry says the response from supermarkets and media has been ‘disproportionate to the level of risk’

The farms across the road had given up on the last weeks of the strawberry harvest, with row after row of plants left to ripen and turn brown. But Adrian and Mandy Schultz were still picking in the morning and packing in the afternoon, without knowing whether the fruits of their labour would reach the market shelves.

On Wednesday morning, they had almost filled three 44-gallon drums with nectarous bright red strawberries that would be thrown out or used for cattle feed. More had been dumped at the back of the property, near Wamuran in Queensland’s Moreton Bay hinterland.

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Read More The needles and the damage done: the growers hurt by Australia’s strawberry saboteurs

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