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AU: Bananas going pink for breast cancer support
Participants in the walk will be supplied with energy from thousands of pink tipped bananas grown in North Queensland.
Pacific Coast Eco Bananas marketing director Dianne Sciacca was in the packing shed on her farm at Mourilyan last week as the very first cartons of the pink tipped bananas rolled off the production line.
"We very much support the cause, it's extremely important and any way we can help raise money for breast cancer research, we're there with both hands up," Ms Sciacca says.
But there is also another important, underlying message as the fledgling eco-ganic banana industry makes a more aggressive marketing pitch to consumers.
Only a year ago after Cyclone Yasi, the price of conventionally farmed bananas skyrocketed up to $14.99 a kilo as 85 per cent of Australia's banana supply was decimated overnight.
Ms Sciacca says eco-ganic growers were hit particularly hard when bananas returned to full production.
"The price of bananas has been extremely low because coming back from cyclone Yasi we've had an oversupply once again and the cost of production hasn't been covered by the retail price for at least the past six or seven months, so it's certainly a huge challenge for us to compete in that market," she says.
"Consumers are also being a lot more careful about price points which is a huge concern for us because growing under an eco-ganic farming system, our cost of production is dearer so therefore, our product is dearer so it's important for us to reinforce what the wax tip stands for and why they pay a little bit more for their product."
Red tipped bananas is one thing... but how will consumers take to pink?
Brothers Ron and Geoff Poppi from Woopen Creek, north of Innisfail, are among a collective of five eco-ganic bananas going pink for the cause.
"We'll have to wait and see until they yellow up but the contrast with the red (wax) has been really good," Ron Poppi says with a laugh.
"The women in the (packing) shed are really happy with it... they tell me it's going to be alright."
Mr Poppi has been severely impacted by two category five cyclones in five years, but he says there is light at the end of the tunnel.
"(Our recovery) is probably a little bit slower because we're not putting the inputs that some of the others are putting in, our plants take longer to respond," Mr Poppi says.
"But we've been in it for eight or nine years now, and in the the past couple of years, we've noticed the dips haven't been as great and the smoother parts are a little bit longer."
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