Banana Bread to help growers get through tough times

A group of Carnarvon Banana Growers has announced that bananas, salvaged after Tropical Cyclone Olwyn destroyed Banana Plantations in Carnarvon, will be turned into banana bread to sustain growers through the next 12 months.

Launched in Perth today by Minister for Agriculture the Hon Ken Baston, Woolworths will be the first major retailer to stock the Western Australian sourced and made Sweeter Banana Bread, growing its distribution to 30 Woolworth’s stores in WA.
Speaking at the launch of Sweeter Banana Bread into select Woolworths Perth stores, Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston applauded the co-operative members for their entrepreneurial response during a very difficult period for Carnarvon growers.
“Cooperative members are not giving up despite the setbacks and they are doing everything they can to provide their customers with a product.” Said Minister Baston.

Owned and operated by 25 farmers on family run farms, The Sweeter Banana Cooperative was formed in 1993 to develop the Carnarvon Sweeter Banana brand, providing delicious local produce to local customers.

The unique environmental growing conditions of the Carnarvon Sweeter Banana make it a sweeter and creamier sub-tropical banana than its Tropical North Queensland cousins. However, these same unique environmental conditions can also result in bananas being damaged with superficial skin markings, rendering the fruit unsuitable for retail sale but still perfect eating. To combat wastage, the farmers came up with a solution; Sweeter Banana Bread.

The all-natural Sweeter Banana Bread contains Carnarvon bananas along with other locally sourced ingredients including flour, eggs and sour cream. The result is a sustainable product that not only minimises wastage but also further supports the wider Western Australian Farming Industry.
Sweeter Banana Co-operative is part of the Buy West Eat Best labelling program, run by the Department of Agriculture and Food.
The program provides Western Australian consumers and the local food industry with a food-specific brand to clearly identify Western Australian grown, farmed, fished and produced food products.

The Sweeter Banana Co-operative Business Manager, Doriana Mangili said, “Our farmers have been producing bananas for more than 30 years but the effects of Tropical Cyclone Olwyn have been devastating to the Western Australian banana industry, destroying nearly all of our crops. We will be out of production for at least the next 9 months.”

“The crops that we were able to salvage have gone into our Sweeter Banana Bread. By buying our delicious banana bread, you’re also supporting the Western Australian banana industry at a time we need it the most.”

Woolworths Local Sourcing Manager for WA, Lynne Vawser said, “The Sweeter Banana Co-operative has been supplying our WA customers with some of the best tasting bananas and our customers love being able to choose local produce. We are extremely pleased to now stock their delicious Sweeter Banana Bread. ”

The 600g loaf of the Sweeter Banana Bread is available in 30 Woolworths stores in WA and retails for $6.99.

Supply of Carnarvon Bananas this week hit a 20 year low.

Posted on 24.06.2013

Supply of Carnarvon Bananas this week hit a 20 year low, with the full impacts of the heatwave in January being acutely felt.
Sweeter Banana Grower, Bruce Munro, said that the heatwave resulted in an overall loss of 25% of fruit across the district, with the biggest impact being felt now, when the bunches that were formed during the heatwave are due to be picked. “Our records show that the bunches that we should be picking now are the ones that came out during the heatwave or just after” added Bruce “it seems that the extreme heat may have damaged the development of the bunches and we have had a lot of bunches just falling from the trees or not developing at all.

Some growers seem to be more impacted than others, but over the past two weeks it has been a real struggle to pick. One grower walked his entire property to find just one bunch mature enough to pick!” It looks like the worst is over for Carnarvon growers with the forecast for next week looking a little better, and growers coming back into normal volumes again by August. The ongoing drought and lack of water has also impacted on the growing region with many growers knocking out old patches and taking the opportunity to replant new, less thirsty patches. Ongoing plantings are continuing with the medium to longer term future of the growing region looking secure once the new fruit is ready to be harvested. In the meantime the long awaited river flow seems to have stalled approximately 20 kilometres east of the nine mile bridge. Growers are hopeful of some follow up rain in the catchment in the next couple of weeks so a full river flow will reach the horticultural district. Carnarvon has now been without a river flow for over two years.

Page Last Modified: Wed 01 Apr 2015

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