way onto the weekly shopping list.
In fact, over 90 per cent of Australian households regularly purchase bananas, leaving fruity competition like apples and citrus far in their wake.
So, what’s with our love of bananas and how are we satiating such a big appetite?
A consistent best seller
For years, bananas have ranked as the number one produce purchase for Australian households, taking a 7.4 per cent share of dollars spent on fruit and vegetables.
In 2020, 92 per cent of households had bananas on their weekly shopping list, with tomatoes coming in second in the fruit and vegetable department, followed by rising star salad in third place and apples at number four.
In 2017, Neilsen also noted Australians purchased on average 19.1kg of bananas each year, peeling their way to a whole lot of nutritional benefits as a result.
A home grown hankering
Due to import restrictions and strict quarantine requirements, all of Australia’s appetite for bananas is satisfied by Australian producers, with the bulk of the banana industry centred around Queensland.
In fact, the Sunshine State is responsible for 94 per cent of Australian banana production, while NSW produces 4 per cent, WA contributes 1.8 per cent and the Northern Territory contributes less than 1 per cent.
In terms of varieties, the perennially popular Cavendish is produced by 97 per cent of the industry, while Lady Fingers comprise 3 per cent of production, and other varieties like Red Dacca, Goldfinger, Sucrier, Ducasse and Plantains account for much less than 1 per cent.
In total, the Aussie banana industry sells around 388,000 tonnes of bananas each year, providing 13,400 jobs and contributing $1.4 billion to the economy in the process.
The banana industry history
As popular as bananas are, growing them in Australia only really started in the 1880s, and we owe thanks to Chinese migrant communities for their introduction.
After finding little luck on the gold fields, they turned their attention to establishing banana plantations in the Queensland tropics, including regions like Cooktown, Port Douglas, Innisfail, Tully, and Cairns.
By the 1890s, plantations had expanded south of the border to Coffs Harbour and around Mullumbimby in New South Wales.
How we fit into the story
At Moorhead and Rutter, we’ve been growing bananas north of Brisbane since 1925.
In those days our farm was based at Mt Mee but is now located in Wamuran, just shy of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
And we’re a little different when it comes to our banana farming practices. We apply a bio dynamic approach, resulting in flavoursome organic bananas that are totally free of pesticides and chemicals.
We’re also taking bananas to the next level with a range of new products including freeze-dried banana bites.
Meanwhile, our farm is safely in the hands of second-generation farmers Merv and Naomi whose passion for quality bananas is only matched by Australia’s long-standing enthusiasm for the nation’s favourite fruit.
You can view our range of banana products here.