Shift to organics on the cards

Organics the way of the future


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ORGANIC PLANS: Cameron Mackay said there are plans in the pipeline for the business to expand into organics. Photo - Kelly Butterworth.

ORGANIC PLANS: Cameron Mackay said there are plans in the pipeline for the business to expand into organics. Photo - Kelly Butterworth.

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Mackay's Bananas are actively exploring the organic market.

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THERE’S more to Mackay’s Bananas than the name lets on – with avocado, cacao, and papaya operations running alongside the traditional banana business – and soon, organics will be added to the mix. 

We think the conversation won't take too much and we're in the process of converting some of it over to organic.

A shift in consumer trends had led the family-run business to the new market.

Mackay’s Bananas’ Cameron Mackay said the business is currently exploring options to convert some of the operations. 

“We're in the process now of taking a look at plant lines and our growing areas and seeing how we can grow organic,” he said. 

The family have been established in the Tully region for 72 years since Mr Mackay’s grandfather began the business, and is now run by Mr Mackay, his two brothers, and two cousins. 

They operate under three names – the Mackay Farming Group, Mackay Produce Solutions, and Mackay’s Banana Marketing. 

They market about one third of Australia’s bananas, but Mr Mackay said the opportunity for organics for unlikely to be at their home base. 

“In the Tully Valley it is difficult with our high rainfall and high humidity – it is a challenge,” he said.

“It's achievable - there are organics grown in the wet tropics very, very well, but for our business we're looking at the fringes in our Lakeland and Bundaberg farms to be able to grow in those areas. 

“Both of those are under one metre rainfall, both around the 900mm mark, which certainly assists in disease control.”

Mr Mackay said it was not only bananas they would look at converting to organics – with no lines ruled out. 

“We’ll look at the bananas, avocados, and papaya,” he said. 

“Being tropical fruits, except for the avocado, it’s certainly an area we’re looking at for organic growth.” 

He said with proper planning, the change shouldn’t be too taxing.

“We think the conversation won't take too much and we're in the process of converting some of it over to organic,” he said.

“We just have a couple of little things we need to deal with to make sure we can still offer the same product as we are offering in our conventional line.”

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