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Thousands Of Avocados Are Being Dumped At The Tip Because It's Cheaper Than Selling Them

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Thousands Of Avocados Are Being Dumped At The Tip Because It's Cheaper Than Selling Them

Thousands of avocados have been dumped across Australian rubbish tips because farmers say it's easier than selling them in supermarkets.

The Daily Mail says the surplus of avocados was caused by the Covid-19 lockdowns, as many restaurants and cafes weren't buying them in bulk for their hungry customers.

North Queenslander Jan De Lai captured the discarded avocados in Atherton, saying: “Truck loads of avocados are being dumped in Atherton!"

“Surely they could be used for animal fodder or used to make oil? Poor farmers.”

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The Cairns Post said this collection of avocados had a potential value of around $200,000.

Atherton grower and board member of Avocados Australia Jim Kochi told 7News that farmers in the region had planted more avocado trees in the last decade because demand for delicious fruit was at an all-time high.

He also shared that locking down restaurants during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic led to an excessive number of trees being planted.

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He said: “Those trees are now coming into production - and coming into production in a big way.

“The cost of putting that stuff in a package, including the labour and the cost of packaging and the cost of transport is just not worthwhile.

“So the option is just to dump it.”

He also revealed that it’s much cheaper for farmers to throw away avocados rather than repacking them for grocers and supermarkets.

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Kochi said: “It doesn’t pay to put the money into packing the fruit or to pay someone the freight costs to send it down to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.”

Food prices in Australia’s major supermarkets are expected to soar by 12 per cent, according to the Daily Mail.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

The soaring prices follow the Horticulture Award coming into effect last month, with fruit pickers now being paid an hourly rate.

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The new regulations were created after a Commission by the Australian Workers Union (AWU) found that farmers had been exploiting workers for years.

While Chief executive of Fruit Growers Tasmania Peter Cornish welcomed the new wage, he warned Australians they would likely continue to see a rise in fruit and vegetable costs.

He told ABC News: "There will be higher cost pressures. Whether that transfers into [sale] prices or not is another matter, but there will be a pressure on that for sure.

"If they have to top up people that are below the minimum, that means higher costs and it may well transfer into higher fruit prices as well."

Featured Image Credit: Jan De Lai/Facebook

Topics: Australia

Charisa Bossinakis
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