Make that two pina coladas and a large Hawaiian: Aussies urged to revel in pineapple glut
Pineapple lovers take note, a glut of the tropical fruit is hitting the Australian market, with consumers urged to buy up big to avoid millions of the fruit going to waste.
About 70 per cent of the annual crop is flowering all at once, after cool wet weather in Queensland stressed the fruit.
“Usually a crop would spread out over eight to ten months, but it’s pretty well all going to come within two weeks,” said fourth generation pineapple grower Samuel Pike.
“There will definitely be a big portion that will get ploughed back into the ground.”
Farmers are now in a race against time and each other to get the pineapples to market.
“They (the farmers) won’t be able to pick all their crop and then they won’t … have a lot of income for the rest of the year,” he told AAP.
“There’s going to be a lot of pineapple around, it’s going to be good quality and it’s going to be probably cheaper than you would normally see it,” said the chair of the industry group for growers Australian Pineapples.
While the mass flowering will create a surplus and drive prices down for the short term, consumers are being encouraged to stock up while they can.
“Soon they’ll (pineapples) be very scarce and probably quite expensive,” Pike said.
“Take advantage of our misfortune and load up on a few pineapples …cut them up and put them in the freezer and keep them for the rest of the year,” Pike said.
Growers say the last time a mass flowering occurred was fifty years ago.
Rachel Chambers, chief executive of industry group Growcom, says there’s going to be substantial losses for farmers.
“The plants will just get chopped up and returned to the earth.”
“There’s no imported pineapples, we don’t export the pineapples, so basically Australian consumers are the only chance we’ve got to eat through as many pineapples as they can,” she said.