After floods wreaked havoc through the South Burnett region for the second time this year, a Kingaroy farming duo found a way to help their community amidst their own struggles.
Despite being faced with their own flood-related issues, Tina and Michael Torrens turned their misfortune into good, selling their proteas to raise money for flood victims.
After seeing the impacts that the floods were having around the area, Mr Torrens decided to do something to help those who had been affected. With a cold room full of cut flowers that couldn't be sent to market, the couple decided to donate them.
The flowers sold out within three hours, raising $3000 for affected families in the region.
"I took two big boxes in on Friday and within 40 minutes they'd sold out, so I had to race home to get more.
"We were selling more at the mall on Saturday morning and when Michael went in, there were line-ups.
"We started selling at 8:30 and by 9:30 they were all gone."
The couple had the flowers ready to send to Brisbane for sale but were unable to get them there after both their local transport company and Brisbane retailer were impacted by the flooding.
"All of the stock that we had ready to go down, I had it all boxed up and ready to go," Mr Torrens said.
"Our transport guys had their shed go under and they lost a truck and a forklift, so they were down.
"The retailer in Brisbane lost power so he was down and then we had no choice but to put them in the cold room.
"When it comes to flowers you've got to have a fresh product and they'd been sitting there for almost a week."
The decision to donate the flowers was an easy one for the couple after witnessing the damage that the flooding had caused to fellow farmers in their region.
"Someone in the Burnett who's been flooded and lost everything, we wanted to help them out," Mr Torrens said.
"The money will go to BIEDO who will pass it on to GIVIT, and they'll disperse the funds to a Burnett family for things they need, like a fridge or clothes.
"Those poor people over near Goomeri have been hit twice, and some of them can't even afford to replace their fridge".
The cause was well supported by locals jumping at the chance to donate, with many driving over 100 kilometres to purchase the brightly coloured bouquets.
"Looking online, it's just a sea of pink," Ms Torrens said.
"There were people coming and buying them for their parents, someone bought some for a party, all of those types of things.
"One lady came in but we'd sold out and she just said here you go, here's 100 dollars. I even had a lady ring up looking to donate from Gin Gin.
"For us it was a small thing, but the joy it brought so many people around the South Burnett was great, and it also allowed them to do something to feel like they were helping someone," Ms Torrens said.
Although the flooding did not directly damage their crop, it heavily impacted their supply chain, causing financial losses and a backlog of produce.
The couple said the issue would be widespread for farmers, with the huge backlog of produce causing knock-on effects that could last weeks.
"You can imagine zucchini growers and tomato growers, they would've had pickers out there last week and now have a cold room full," Mr Torrens said.
"Now there's a backlog, and there's only so many zucchinis and tomatoes that people can eat.
"You've also got the fuel prices hiking up, so it's just a chain reaction which pushes our prices down," Ms Torrens said.
"It's the same with all of the farmers and produce growers, you'll have so many farmers trying to get their stock down there and it will force the prices down because there'll be so much of it on the market."
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