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.

Western Australia bananas catching up with Queensland

Posted on 17.01.2013

In Western Australia extensive trials are underway to work out why Carnarvon bananas have a shorter shelf life than bananas grown in the north.
The research has prompted a major investment by Western Australia's Sweeter Banana Cooperative to bring the latest technology to its cooling systems and packing sheds.

Western Australia bananas catching up with Queensland

Far North Queensland has long been the stronghold of the banana industry, but could the region's reputation as the best banana growing region in the country under threat?

In Western Australia extensive trials are underway to work out why Carnarvon bananas have a shorter shelf life than bananas grown in the north.

The research has prompted a major investment by Western Australia's Sweeter Banana Cooperative to bring the latest technology to its cooling systems and packing sheds.

Business development manager Doriana Mangilli says the improvements have already achieved longer shelf life of bananas by days and a 90 per cent reduction in rejection rates.

"It's pretty much keeping the temperature (of the bananas) as low as we can from the moment it's picked."

"... what we're seeing is we're actually catching up those Queensland bananas now in terms of when you buy them in the shops and get them home."

Australian Banana Grower Council president Doug Phillips, who grows bananas on the Cassowary Coast, has applauded the initiative which he says is addressing environmental issues specific to Canarvon where temperatures can reach 40 degrees but without the humidity experienced in North Queensland.

"They are using these micro sprinklers within the (packing) shed and that almost works like an evaporative cooling system so those types of systems generally work very well in the drier climates but we don't really get those same high temperatures."

Mr Phillips says the methods might be different but the objective remains the same - to get the bananas into cool storage as quickly as possible.

"At times if necessary, if fruit is going to be stored in a non controlled environment, the use of sprinklers on the fruit to help keep it cool is certainly used in North Queensland which I am sure it is in Western Australia to."

"At the end of the day, all we are is growers who are trying to the very best that we can and make sure that the product that each of us, whether it's in North Queensland or Western Australia, is the very best that we can do."


Page Last Modified: Wed 01 Apr 2015


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