As he watches freshly harvested bananas roll into his Far North Queensland packing shed, banana grower James Howe can’t imagine how far and in what number of instructions his fruit travels to succeed in shoppers.

The bananas are packed into 15-kilogram cartons, stacked up and chilled in a single day earlier than heading out on the vans down the east coast and so far as Derby in Western Australia.

From Mr Howe’s farm in Walkamin within the Tablelands area close to Cairns, a few of these bananas would possibly simply set the file for the longest plantation-to-plate journey in all the nation.

“Certainly one of our fundamental prospects is Perth, so we have one of many [longest] freight routes out of most individuals in Australia,” he mentioned.

“As soon as they hit Perth, they then bounce up the west coast and it is almost as fast to get to the place they find yourself from the place they began.”

map across europe
The each day transport route for Mr Howe’s bananas could be the equal of a protracted, meandering street journey throughout continental Europe.(Equipped: Google Maps)

From Walkamin to Perth and as much as Derby it’s a whopping 6,880 kilometres.

To place the space into context, it might be the identical as a meandering street journey by 16 European international locations, beginning in Spain and ending in Russia.

Mr Howe says his nonna may by no means have envisaged the distances his produce travels, when she and his grandfather began rising melons, tobacco, and pumpkins in Queensland a few years in the past.

1000’s of kilometres later and nonetheless contemporary

Greater than 5 million bananas are eaten every single day in Australia, making them the nation’s top-selling grocery store product.

In response to the Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC), bananas outsell not solely different fruit and vegetable, however each different grocery store line.

Cautious planning is required to make sure bananas have been nonetheless in prime situation after such lengthy journeys.

man in blue workshirt holds bunch of bananas
Bananas are picked inexperienced and ripened in a specialist facility to make sure consistency for supermarkets.(ABC Rural: Lucy Cooper)

“It mainly boils all the way down to having high quality management in your individual packing shed, after which high quality management on the distribution centre, and hoping that the transport course of in between is mild and never tough,” Stephen Lowe, chair of ABGC mentioned.

“There’s plenty of logistics behind bananas and if one a part of the method goes fallacious, it could price some huge cash.”

However regardless of the long-distance journey, Mr Lowe mentioned that in comparison with the remainder of the world Australian fruit may attain Australian locations sooner.

“Internationally, plenty of fruit into Europe comes from Central America [and] South America, and it will likely be on a ship for 3 to three.5 weeks earlier than it will get to the distribution centres in Europe,” he mentioned.

“Whenever you’re sending bananas from North Queensland to Perth, it is actually fairly a distance, undoubtedly longer than the size of some international locations.”

Bunches of green bunches lay on bench
Australians eat 5 million bananas a day.(ABC Rural: Lucy Cooper)

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