Husband and wife duo, Rod and Sue Bamess are at the helm of Bamess Farms, which is spread over four properties in Channybearup, Jardee and Deanmill of the Southern Forests. Together with their children and their partners, currently Shaun, Gemma and Jasmine Bamess, they grow avocados, apples, plums and cherries for the local and domestic markets.
Rod and Sue have been farming in the Southern Forests since 1977 and not only do they grow, pack and market their own fruit, they also have a tree nursery for producing their own avocados. The Bamess’ have been growing avocados since before they were the on trend and in vogue produce line. It is still the families most favourite produce line to grow and eat. Anything with avocados in it, but particularly avocado ice cream with cherries on top!
Autumn is however their favourite time of the year, purely for the plethora and variety of fresh produce available in the local area. This is also when the renowned Bravo™ apple is harvested. Bravo™ apples are exciting and unique Manjimup-bred apples that have a distinct sweetness, moderate to high crisp and crunch, and a striking burgundy colour. Bravo™ apples are the result of more than two decades of research and development with an impressive tree pedigree. The tree variety is the result of a traditional hybridisation cross between Royal Gala and the internationally acclaimed Western Australian-bred Cripps Red apple variety. Bravo™ apples are therefore 100% guaranteed non-GMO fruit. (source).
The Bamess family source workers through the Seasonal Work Program and are now moving towards the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme which is the Australian Government's new, streamlined approach to its highly valued Pacific labour mobility initiatives. The PALM scheme allows eligible employers to recruit workers from nine Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste when there are not enough Australian workers available. Without schemes such as these, lots of primary producers, in not only the Southern Forests but around Australia, would not have enough workers for harvesting produce. The family enjoy the cultural interaction with these workers.
The Bamess’ love living and working in a rural setting and country town. They have co-branded their avocado tray with the Genuinely Southern Forests brand and are proud to have the opportunity to contribute to marketing the region. They are passionate about growing quality produce and value customer feedback above all else.
The Southern Forests Food Council worked with the family to create their new red and black plum databar labels. Look for the Genuinely Southern Forests produce sticker on the Bamess Farms avocados and plums next time you’re at your local greengrocer.
Photography by Craig Kinder Photography for Genuinely Southern Forests.