Shoppers urged to swoop on glut of premature pineapples

Pineapple lovers are being encouraged to embrace an oversupply of the tropical fruit to stop tonnes of Australian-grown produce going to waste.

Millions of pineapples – or 70 per cent of the annual crop – is ripening all at once after a cold and wet snap in Queensland.

It is the first mass natural flowering event in 50 years.

Samuel Pike, a fourth generation pineapple grower, said farmers were in a race against time.

“Usually a crop would spread out over eight to 10 months, but it’s pretty well all going to come within two weeks,” he told AAP.

Mr Pike encouraged shoppers to make the most of the glut.

“There’s going to be a lot of pineapple around, it’s going to be good quality and it’s going to be probably cheaper than you would normally see it,” he said.

But the surplus will be short lived.

“Soon they’ll be very scarce and probably quite expensive,” Mr Pike said.

Many pineapple growers will be unable to pick their crops in time, forcing farmers to plough entire fields of rotten fruit back into the ground.

“Take advantage of our misfortune and load up on a few pineapples cut them up and put them in the freezer and keep them for the rest of the year,” Mr Pike said.

Rachel Chambers, chief executive of industry group Growcom, said farmers would suffer substantial losses.

“The plants will just get chopped up and returned to the earth,” she said.

“There’s no imported pineapples, we don’t export the pineapples, so basically Australian consumers are the only chance we’ve got.”

Ms Chambers encouraged shoppers to “eat through as many pineapples as they can”.


Liv Casben
(Australian Associated Press)


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