Nestled against the piles of yellow bananas in grocery stores around Australia are bunches of small yellow bananas with bright red waxed tips. The fruit is the product of farmers Frank and Dianne Sciacca of Pacific Coast Produce, which is located in Northern Queensland near Innisfail among the sugar fields of the region.
Established in 1999, the farm produces the wax tip eco-banana through environmentally friendly farming practices.
According to the company website, “nature inspired innovation to produce a better banana.” When purchasing the eco-bananas, customers are supporting a farming practice that “reduces the impacts of agrichemicals and synthetic fertilisers.” No nematicides, insecticides or miticides are used on the soil and minimum amount of fertiliser is used throughout production. The company claims that this produces a more natural growing cycle and whilst farming, they seek to improve soil biology.
At Pacific Coast Produce, “water is used efficiently through drip systems, minimising runoff and protecting water quality.” Attention to the environmental sensitivity is important as it ultimately affects surrounding ecosystems, including the nearby Great Barrier Reef.
Wax Tip Bananas
The wax tip is a marketing ploy used by the company to differentiate their eco-product in the produce section of grocery stores. Each banana is hand dipped into hot, food grade wax at the time of packing at the farm.
The farming practices at Pacific Coast Produce yield a sweet fruit that has a hint of caramel. Unlike other bananas, the eco-banana has a satisfying density akin to the small ladyfinger bananas from the same region. The company asserts that the banana has an extended shelf life however the fruit is so inciting, the bunch rarely lasts long enough to spoil.
Tourists visiting North Queensland who have had enough of the rainforests and reefs are able to visit the farm through appointment only. Although Pacific Coast Produce is not open for structured tours on a daily basis, they do offer tours for larger groups that simply need to be coordinated in advance.
The area is a popular destination for backpackers seeking work in the fruit picking industry and Pacific Coast Produce offers employment opportunities for backpackers travelling in the area.
Pacific Coast Eco Bananas, 228 Boogan Road, Mourilyan via Innisfail QLD 4860