Farmers are now urging Australian consumers to get onboard supporting another industry to help remove the overstocked produce these Aussie battlers have been left with after a dry and warm summer. The Banana Industry.
It’s seems a lack of cyclones and a warm wet start to winter has been blamed for the crippling glut of bananas in far north Queensland.
Supermarket shelves are overstocked with the fruit, being sold for as little as a dollar a kilogram, as Australian chain stores attempt to clear the supplies.
The Australian Banana Growers’ Council is urging consumers to eat more bananas. Director Steve Lizzio, explained in a radio interview on the ABC that the current market conditions are the worst he had experienced and growers were selling bananas less than the cost of production for the last two months.
The growers are used to riding the supply and demand curve of Australian bananas, but at the moment, many of these farmers are hurting.
“I’m hurting and I know all the other growers are hurting as well,” he said.
“But you know, it’s the nature of the beast and we just have to hang in there the best we can.”
“We keep using the word ‘resilient’ but it’s getting more and more difficult to be resilient with prices like this.”
The Bureau of Meterology is predicting above average rainfall in the next three months with maximum temperatures at 28 degrees in far North Queensland so the situation is unlikely to change for the banana growers. Their financial stress has also been heightened after responding to the worst biosecurity outbreak to strike the banana industry.
The best thing consumers can do is buy bananas.
Last year 29 million cartons of bananas were produced by the industry and bananas still remain Australia’s top-selling fresh food commodity.
Yet New Zealanders are eating more bananas than the Australian public and they’re eating Filipino bananas.
Mr Lizzio explained, “Look, New Zealanders are still eating more bananas than us Aussies and they’re eating Filipino bananas so I guess all I can say to the consumers is just keep getting into them,” he said.
“Bang for your buck, you can’t beat the Aussie banana and we’re here for the long haul and I hope [consumers] are too.”
We certainly are Steve Lizzio.
Next time you’re getting your fruit and veg, why not grab a bunch (or two) of bananas. The fruit is a great-on-the-go snack for toddlers, and doesn’t need packaging.
We have plenty of banana recipes that you could try to fill your family with banana goodness. Here are just some of the easy banana recipes that you could try: