Woolworths helps buyers help Queensland banana growers

Over the coming weeks, Queenslanders may ‘spot’ some bananas on supermarket shelves with dark marks on the skin, but if they peel back the layers, they’ll find the same “delicious, healthy snack” on the inside.

Woolworths is introducing signs throughout stores in Queensland to help educate customers about why their bananas might look a little different at the moment, and to reassure them that they can still be confident in their quality and great taste.

It comes as the Queensland banana industry encourages customers to get behind farmers in the wake of Cyclone Jasper.

The unprecedented rainfall in North Queensland brought on by Cyclone Jasper softened the skin of unpicked bananas on the trees, making them more sensitive to extra bumps and marks on the outside.

Woolworths is encouraging customers to look beyond skin-deep. The flesh of the bananas remains unaffected and delicious to eat.

All Woolworths’ Cavendish bananas across Queensland stores are sourced from Queensland, from Lakelands to Caldwell.

Howe Farming Group owner Dennis Howe.

Dennis Howe, owner of Howe Farming Group located in Walkamin in Far North Queensland, has been supplying Woolworths with bananas for over 20 years, and is grateful for the relationship that allows for open communication and problem solving in an unpredictable industry. This partnership helps provide delicious bananas to Woolworths customers, and certainty for Mr Howe’s business, which employs 450 people. Mr Howe is calling on Queenslanders to support local banana farmers by not being deterred by marked bananas.

Woolworths is committed to selecting fresh home grown produce wherever possible, with 100 per cent of their bananas grown in Australia, and 90 per cent of those coming straight from Queensland growers.

Mr Howe says: “Over the years we’ve developed a close relationship with Woolworths to overcome challenges in supply, quality and transport.

“Throughout Cyclone Jasper, we worked together with Woolworths to pack and deliver fruit early into their warehouses. Practical support like this helped give us assurance that we’d be able to manage this and future weather events.

“We encourage shoppers to look beyond the skin and continue to shop our delicious bananas and support Aussie growers.”

Woolworths General Manager for Fruit Marie Gallagher says: “We speak to our growers regularly, and in times like these we discuss how we can best support them – whether that means accepting fruit that may have additional marks on the skin, or adjusting picking timelines to make sure the fruit is off the trees before a storm hits.

“This ensures that our growers get the support they need, while also providing our customers with the delicious fresh produce we’re known for.

“Queenslanders are known for helping each other out and we know our shoppers will rally behind local growers to continue enjoying brilliant Australian bananas and help farmers through a rough patch.“

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