Up to 100 tonnes of pineapples are rotting in Queensland paddocks after a surplus in the market forced farmers to dump their produce.
Farmers have slammed Golden Circle for not opening its cannery in Brisbane early to help lighten the piles of decaying fruit, totalled at $300,000, despite an anticipated shortage of canned pineapple.
The brand, which was purchased by American corporation Kraft Hines 10 years ago, will instead import cheaper fruit from overseas, growers told The Courier Mail.
‘Golden Circle did not open the cannery even though the markets are bursting with over supply and mountains like this are going to waste because they are worth nothing…If you see any imported canned pineapple it is not because Aussie growers lack capacity to supply it is because Golden Circle does not support the Australian Pineapple industry,’ NQ Paradise Pines posted on Facebook on Tuesday.
Christopher Berra, a pineapple Farmer, told 7News he is devastated about the excess produce.
‘It’s a lot of money, time and effort and to see at the end, end up like this – it’s heart-breaking,’ he said.
Mr Berrra said the surplus of fruit stems from multiples reasons, including farmers in the south also growing pines during the same time of year.
‘And also with the cannery not open a lot of other farmers who supply the cannery therefore had to put their fresh food on the market,’ he said.
NQ Paradise Pines manager Robert Richardson told the Courier Mail: ‘Ever since Heinz took over we’ve seen a decline from 70,000 tonnes a year to 20,000 tonnes.’
‘I believe they have deliberately kept the perception they are a Queensland company backing Queensland producers when they are simply not.’
‘They don’t care about our industry. They only care about the bottom line.’
Golden Circle has been contacted for comment.