Slow Food Hunter Valley and pineapple growers will unite

Rotting pineapples
Rotting pineapples

Moves are afoot to help stop North Queensland pineapples from going to waste after hot weather made the crop ripen early and created an oversupply. 

North Queensland Paradise Pines posted a confronting image of their rotting pineapple pile on social media earlier this week, and explained their plight to the nation. 

The company said Golden Circle would not open its Brisbane cannery to process the fruit so it had to be dumped, and now shoppers would face a shortage of canned pineapple in supermarkets for up to three months. Golden Circle it had been one of the largest supporters of the pineapple industry for 70 years and had processed over 25,000 last year, which was less than expected.

The Mercury saw the post and called Slow Food Hunter Valley leader Amorelle Dempster, asking her to contact Slow Food members in that part of the nation to see what could be done. 

There were hopes of bringing some of the crop to Maitland’s Slow Food Earth Market but it was already rotten. 

The situation has expanded the city’s food web and paved the way for pineapples to hit Maitland later this year. 

The grower will harvest the next crop in November or December and organise for pineapples it cannot sell through the usual channels to come to the city. 

Ms Dempster said shoppers could expect pineapples at more than one market. 

“We are in a unique position with a market that can sell this product and a community that is willing to be part of the whole farming-food cycle and a newspaper that is willing to take the cause up too,” she said. 

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“This is going to open up a whole new opportunity for bringing that produce – and anything else our farmers here cannot grow –  to the market so it is not wasted.

”The grower didn’t realise that there are other channels to sell this product because they are locked into a contract growing for a distributor.They assumed if they don’t sell it to the distributor then you destroy them. It’s given them an opportunity to rethink this. It will be a fabulous opportunity for our community to enjoy tropical fruit seasonally as well.”