MORE than 300 growers and industry representatives attended the annual FNQ Growers gala dinner in Mareeba on Friday night.

Lakeland banana grower and developer of Next-Gen compost Peter Inderbitzin was named the 2018 Charlie Nastasi Horticultural Farmer of the Year at the event.

It wrapped up with an auction of locally-produced fruit and vegetables where a record $21,000 was raised for the Mareeba Hospital Foundation.

FNQ Growers chair Joe Moro said the evening was a resounding success, with the turnout and fundraising efforts a reflection of the horticultural industry’s value in the local community.