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AU: Warmer winter weather leads to "excellent" pineapple quality at Piñata Farms
While most pineapple growers were dealing with an oversupply, Piñata Farms actually welcomed the warmer winter weather.
While the company does have year-round production, it does not produce much volume for the mid-year markets, as the demand is not there, so it experienced very little impact of the glut that affected the industry. In fact, Managing Director Gavin Scurr says the quality at Pinata has been excellent due to perfect growing conditions for the fruit over the past few months.
"At this stage we are on track however we have mixed maturity in the field meaning we are harvesting each field three or four times compared to two which is normal. Demand for pineapple is growing nicely due to a more consistent eating experience through MD2 and 73/50 varieties. Most fresh pineapple in Australia is now these 2 varieties."
Photo credit: Aqua Public Relations
Piñata is one of Australia's largest pineapple growers with its locations at Mareeba in tropical north Queensland, at Wamuran in the state’s south-east, and around Darwin. Pinata is expanding in the Northern Territory with more than three million plants in the ground, hoping to double its pineapple production.
"The reason we are growing in the NT is to target the February to April window which is difficult to do in Queensland," Mr Scurr said. "This season our fruit size is much better than prior years for that period due to us growing a much larger plant than normal. The downside is that large plants are difficult to harvest. However, it seems the only way we can achieve reasonable yield."
The company is also expanding mango production in the Top End with a further 10,000 Honey Gold mango plants, as well as getting back into banana production.
"We are growing bananas in the NT with our joint venture partner Lamanna Premier Group to supply the local trade in Darwin," Mr Scurr said. "We have increased our Honey Gold plantings in the NT to help fill the demand for Honey Gold pre-Christmas. We have done this in Katherine and Darwin. Honey Gold is becoming known as the premium mango due to its great flavour and good shelf life."
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