There have been recent media reports concerning a request from a North Queensland farmer prior to Christmas for Golden Circle to process a comparatively small volume of pineapples.
Although we do not normally source our pineapples from the farmer who contacted us, we tried to accommodate the request. Pineapples need to be processed within three days of harvesting.
As we have stated in our previous media response, Golden Circle regularly conducts scheduled maintenance on its pineapple processing equipment twice each year. Planned maintenance is communicated to our regular growers and the schedule is updated to take into account of their crop movements. Due to a shortage of trained labour over the Christmas period and our other skilled labour being used to process mangoes at that time, we were unable to take the fruit.
We are pleased to see the supportive comments from Australian pineapple farmer Gavin Scurr of Piñata Farms:
"They're open again next week for pineapples and will continue with pineapples, but I think it's a bit unfair to expect them to open every time there's a few extra pineapples in one growing region.”
“Normally there's not a lot of fruit around, so Golden Circle use that time to actually do maintenance on their plant, so even if they wanted to they can't because the machinery is in bits, or was in bits."
We wish to reassure consumers that the canned pineapple Golden Circle supplies to the major Australian supermarkets is Australian grown and processed in our Northgate, Queensland cannery.
Golden Circle is the largest supplier of Australian canned pineapple. Our investment in our Northgate cannery clearly demonstrates our support of Australian farmers and that we see a future in our industry.
We are, and will continue to be, a huge supporter of Australian pineapple growers.
GOLDEN CIRCLE IS A LONGSTANDING SUPPORTER OF AUSTRALIAN PINEAPPLE GROWERS
For 70 years, Golden Circle has been one of the largest supporters of Australian pineapple growers. In 2017 Golden Circle processed over 25,000 tonnes of Australian pineapples; less than anticipated due to a shortage caused by seasonal weather variations in Spring.
Twice every year, when fruit quality is not optimum, Golden Circle routinely closes its cannery for six weeks to conduct maintenance. However, in light of the present shortage, the cannery remained open for an extra three weeks during December 2017, to take additional pineapples.
In the week prior to the scheduled Christmas closure, our cannery received notice of an available supply from a fresh market packer in North Queensland. As trained labour was not available over the Christmas week and Golden Circle’s standards for canned pineapple require processing within three days of harvesting, the fruit could not be taken.
Golden Circle remains a huge supporter of Australian growers. The canned pineapple Golden Circle supplies to the major Australian supermarkets is Australian grown and processed in Queensland.