Cyclone-affected bananas to be harvested

News release | 18-Dec-2023

Biosecurity Queensland has negotiated ongoing market access arrangements that will allow Queensland banana growers to certify fruit harvested from fallen plants after a tropical cyclone for a limited period of up to two-weeks after the event.

General Manager Plant Biosecurity and Chief Plant Health Manager Michael Reid said growers would have an additional two-week supply of bananas which they could sell where destined for interstate market access following Cyclone Jasper.

Mr Reid said many benefits would come from this arrangement.

“Rather than letting fruit go to waste, many of these windfall bunches should be suitable for marketing and consumption,” he said.

“This measure will assist in the long-term economic recovery of these growers.”

“Australian consumers will also benefit as there will be an increased supply in the marketplace, which should also assist in keeping banana prices down.”

Accredited businesses do not need to do anything to be eligible for these arrangements. The Department has made an amendment to the ICA operational procedure Hard Green Bananas [ICA-06] and it is in the process of being provided to accredited businesses by their local Plant Biosecurity Officer.

To maintain interstate market confidence in our produce, random inspections may still need to be carried out on packing sheds and transporters.

Mr Reid said as 80 per cent of Australia's bananas come from far north Queensland, it was important to maintain our high standards despite the setbacks experienced at the present time.

Queensland maintains part of the state area freedom certification for Panama disease tropical race 4. Any areas infested with Panama TR4 are required to be certified under Inspection of Bananas for Freedom of Soil and Plant Material [ICA-67] to mitigate any risks associated with soil and other plant material for Panama TR4.

Media contact: DAF Media,