Yeppoon Pineapple grower Ben Clifton (right) picking fruit with his crew at the Valley Syndicate farm, off Yeppoon Road, which has harvested the biggest crop in eight years after a wet summer.
Yeppoon Pineapple grower Ben Clifton (right) picking fruit with his crew at the Valley Syndicate farm, off Yeppoon Road, which has harvested the biggest crop in eight years after a wet summer. Nikita Watts

Wet season brings cheap pineapples

MORE than one million pineapples have been hand picked by Ben Clifton and his team at Yeppoon's Valley Syndicate farm in the past month alone.

After eight years of drought, the wet season has been “challenging” for the growers of six of Yeppoon's 10 pineapple farms, but it has also created a bumper harvest and the town is feeding the rest of Australia.

A bumper harvest means lower market prices, which is why the popular fruit is going so cheap at local supermarkets, with the best deal in its hometown of Yeppoon.

At the Yeppoon Woolworths yesterday, pineapples were priced at $1.98, while in Rockhampton, they were $2.20 each.

Joe Craggs, sales manager of Tropical Pines, the branding and packaging company servicing the farms, said the average price in Sydney was roughly $5, but they were recently selling for $3.50.

He said the low prices were great for consumers but it had a negative impact on the market.

“Our production grows every year but after eight years of drought it's been a very significant growing season,” he said.

“It's good for growers that production is up, but the value is lower. It's fantastic for consumers, it means good volumes of excellent quality pineapples all over Australia.”

At the farm yesterday as Ben and his workers frantically picked fresh fruit to be canned, Joe said production was up by about 30%, with a total of 50,000 trays containing 500,000 fresh pineapples packed on the back of trucks and distributed Australia-wide last month, while the other 500,000 pineapples had been canned.

Pinapple Prices

  • Coles, Allenstown Plaza: $3.20
  • Woolworths, Yeppoon: $1.98
  • Foodworks, South Rocky: $2.50
  • Woolworths, North Rocky: $2.20
  • IGA, Glenmore: $2.99
  • Robbie D's, Rocky: $1.90


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