In 2016/17, Australian banana growers sold a record 414,000 tonnes of fresh bananas (based on national levy figures).
In 2015/16, that figure sat at 393,000 tonnes and, in 2014/15 , 371,000 tonnes. These were also record years.
Farm production was valued at $600 million in 2016/17 and the industry contributed $1.3 billion to the national economy (including flow-on benefits).
The following table shows significant increases in Queensland as the dominant producing State, over the last two decades.
Australian Banana Production (tonnes)
|2015||353,500||16,000||1,000 *||500 *||371,000|
*Cyclone Olwyn destroyed Carnarvon’s production and the Freckle eradication program meant all NT banana plants in the Top End were destroyed.
In January 2014, CDI Pinnacle released an economic study of the banana industry funded by Horticulture Australia Limited. It noted the farm gate value from the 2012/13 production of 341,000 tonnes was $480 million. This produced a $1.1 billion annual contribution in direct and indirect farm expenditure. The same output multiplier for the 2015/16 production (worth $600 million) results in an annual contribution now of $1.3 billion.
(Source: CDI Pinnacle – Value of Australian Banana Industry to Local and National Economies, 2013).
That same study showed 9,600 full time equivalent jobs in 2009/10 directly and indirectly. This too would have increased since then, in line with industry expansion in North Queensland.
The banana industry is the major economic driver and employer in Tully, Innisfail, Mareeba, Kennedy, Lakeland and Carnarvon.