Bananas in Dirty Pyjamas

I recently came across a banana story on the Turners & Growers website, naturally praising the virtues of Bonita bananas from Ecuador.  MG Marketing, the importer of Philippine Dole Bananas are not quite as forward, but Dole certainly gets a mention  on MG’s   website.  Woolworths/Progressive import Philippine Gracio bananas directly. 

I don’t want to get into a debate here about the relative advantages of Ecuador versus Philippine bananas and whether retailers should be importing their own fruit or not - I would need a whole separate blog just for that!  What all three brands have in common, regardless of origin, nature of importer and sticker colour is that they are relatively consistent in terms of quality and price.  Sure, there are variations but nothing our three banana importers get up to can compare with Australian conditions.  Have a look at these two photos which I took at some stage within the last couple of years at Melbourne’s Victoria Market.

Stack Them High & Watch Them Fly - OR NOT!

Not only is the fruit on this first photograph well passed Stage 6 on the ripening scale, but piling them up like this sure did not entice me to buy any fruit to take back to my hotel or for a quick snack.  And the price just adds insult to injury. And yet the locals were buying the fruit. Not that there were clusters of thronging consumers gathering around this particular purveyor of quality Aussie bananas, but there were plenty of people running around the market with overripe bananas poking out of their shopping trolleys.
Just shows that customer can be conditioned to buy anything.Would you pay $2 per kilo for this crap, eh overripe fruit? So why are Australian buying this stuff?  I did not have to go far for my answer. 

Bananas AT Truffle Prices - But Are They Selling?

Anyone not wanting to pay $2 per kg for overripe, nearly black and somewhat squashed bananas, had the choice of paying $6 per kg for less than yellow, slightly bruised and a little marked bananas.There is a name for this – market forces Aussie style.  Bananas are a protected crop in Australia.  Imports are not welcome. Local supply and demand cannot be balanced out with an import component and Australian consumers have no choice.  It is either Australian bananas or none at all – take your pick.
So while we are sitting on this side of the Tasman, contemplating when we will be able to ship New Zealand apples to Australia, spare a thought for the Australian consumers who have to put up with for ever changing banana quality and no opportunity to switch to an import brand. And as a lot of Queensland is under water right now and most of Australia’s bananas are grown in Queensland, guess what the long suffering Australian banana consumer will shortly get to see again at their local fruiterer or supermarket!

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