CONFIDENCE STRONG BANANA SHOWING INDICATES
PEOPLE in the Far North banana industry are feeling good for the first time in a long time.
After the potentially catastrophic Panama disease was detected on a farm in Tully earlier this year, growers have been worried the industry may struggle to bounce back.
However, strong showings at the banana competitions at the recent Innisfail and Tully shows have bolstered confidence.
At the Tully Show last week, more than 60 bunches and 30 cartons were displayed in what has been described as the best exhibit in 10 years.
Most successful exhibitor was Mission Beach’s Sellars Bananas with wins for champion carton of clusters, champion hand and pair of hands, and the champion extra- large cluster carton from the Tully District.
Business owner Naomi Brownrigg is optimistic about the future for banana farmers in the Far North.
“For years we still won’t know the impact of Panama ... but we have confidence in the industry moving forward,” she said. “It’s not going to be the death knell for us.”
Despite the popular banana packing competition not being held at this year’s Innisfail Show, the chief steward for the banana exhibits, Rob Zahra, was happy with the turnout. “It’s a major drawcard,’’ he said. “It certainly would have reduced the number of people coming to the Innisfail Show.
“But the decision to not go ahead with the packing competition was made in April, when the Panama threat was new to us.”
BEARING FRUIT: Naomi Brownrigg of Sellars Bananas and Jason Campbell show off their winning entries.
BEST ON SHOW: Jeff Dickinson from Kennedy with the champion bunch.