Banana supplies return to normal as Queensland flood waters subside

Posted by Editorial on 23rd February 2009

The Australian Banana Growers Council has advised that far north Queensland banana growers have resumed normal supply following the recent torrential monsoon rain and floods that played havoc with the transport of all goods, including bananas, in and out of tropical regions north of Ingham.

Australian Banana Growers Council president Nicky Singh said the disruption to banana supplies was relatively short-lived. “The industry is very appreciative of the support it has received from consumers during the recent interruption in banana supplies,” he said. “We know that Australians love their bananas – with every man, woman and child in this country eating about 13.5kg annually – so we really appreciated consumers’ patience and support as we struggled to get fruit to market.”

“We expect that banana prices at retail outlets will quickly reflect the increase in available supply as packing sheds and transport operations return to normal, which is great news for consumers,” Mr Singh added. “There may be some dullness of the skin due to the weather conditions, but eating quality of the fruit remains excellent.”

Mr Singh said that, from a logistical perspective, it is a credit to the banana industry’s supply-chain partners that they were able to get fruit to market so quickly in what were still very difficult circumstances after the Bruce Highway re-opened.

“Supply from north Queensland was cut to 23,000 cartons during the first week in February but jumped up to 550,000 cartons last week,” he said. “The rain caused an average of about 20 per cent losses in northern plantations due to flooding, water-logging and weather damage, but this will not cause any interruption to future supplies unless there are further weather complications.”

“My message to lovers of Australian bananas is that we are back in business,” Mr Singh concluded.