AUSTRALIAN FARMERS DUMP CITRUS FRUIT AS LABOR BECOMES SCARCE
Hundreds of tons of Australian citrus fruit are reportedly being dumped due to labor shortages and a lack of demand at supermarkets, FreshFruitPortal.com reported.
Across Queensland's North Burnett region, the country's largest citrus supplier, entire paddocks of mandarins, lemons, and grapefruits rot on the ground, deemed unsellable, 9News reports.
Citrus grower Bevan Young said a shortage of workers early on pushed harvest later into the season, creating an oversupply of fruit as Queensland growers are forced to compete with fruit from other regions. He said it's likely he'll have to toss half his crop.
"The returns are as bad as I have seen them," Young said.
Citrus farmers have conceded they don't expect to turn a profit this season but are hopeful for next year if they get support from the government to expand quarantine facilities for seasonal workers.
"In the long term we would like to see a regional hub which could service at least this state (Queensland), but other states too," Nathan Hancock from Citrus Australia said.