Australia

North West’s banana-za reduces price of Perth fruit

A glut of WA-grown bananas has hit the Perth market amid a perfect storm of bumper production and challenges caused by recent floods and the COVID snap lockdown.

Most retailers are offering specials on WA grown bananas to shift the big supplies, and the Sweeter Banana Co-operative, representing farmers in Carnarvon, is urging consumers to eat more of the nutritious and tasty fruit to support this important industry.

Bananas are grown year round with peak production occurring in summer months.

However, humid conditions and big rains caused by a tropical low at Carnarvon two weeks ago have given a major production boost to the Carnarvon banana crop during its peak production period, according to Sweeter Bananas Co-operative business manager Doriana Mangili.

“The tropical rains have given the bananas a turbo-injection,” she said.

Camera IconSweeter Banana Co-operative business manager Doriana Mangili at the warehouse in Canningvale. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

“The warm, humid conditions made the bananas grow even faster, producing a bumper crop.”

According to the Sweeter Banana Co-operative, production has doubled from 3,000 cartons a week in December to more than 6,000 a week now.

More than 90,000 packs, each with about five bananas, are now hitting the Perth market each week.

In Woolworths, bananas are selling for as little as 54 cents each, while Coles is selling them for just 70 cents a piece.

Ms Mangili said the bumper production has coincided with challenges following the COVID snap lockdown, which meant fewer people were buying bananas, and a slight backlog was created.

“They’re a popular lunch box snack but we missed the first week of school which meant a poor sales week. The following week there was less shopping because people didn’t want to wear masks, so demand really fell back then too,” she said.

Meanwhile, the floods a fortnight ago meant the SBC had to close its packing shed for two days, while damage to road slowed transport to Perth, further exacerbating the backlog.

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