Australia: Carnarvon banana growers hurt by cyclone Mangga plead for consumer support

Carnarvon banana growers are urging consumers to keep buying their fruit, even though skins may be more blemished than usual, after ex-tropical cyclone Mangga three weeks ago battered plantations and caused widespread damage.

The Sweeter Banana Co-operative has warned many tonnes of good quality bananas could go to waste because there are slight blemishes on the skin, which are merely cosmetic and have no impact on the fruit itself. Sweeter Banana chairman Chris Collins said the storm damaged a lot of trees and brought down bunches that were ready to harvest. It is estimated about 30 per cent of the crop could be affected, including non-visible damage which will emerge later. Much of what is left is cosmetically damaged, but the fruit inside is good.

“The bunches that were left have suffered some external damage, so we have more fruit than usual with light skin markings,” Mr Collins said. “After growing the fruit for 15 months it’s heartbreaking to lose the bunches, but even more soul destroying to see fruit that is perfectly good to eat go to waste because of cosmetic reasons.”

Sweeter Banana business manager Doriana Mangili said purchasing this fruit would stop thousands of kilos of fruit from going to waste.” This fruit may be slightly more blemished usual because of the storm, but still has to meet certain specifications, so there will not be a huge difference, Ms Mangili told She is urging people to also consider another brand, available in Coles, called Smoothies for bananas that are “tickled by nature”.

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