IGNORING a few marks on their bananas has meant Perth Zoo residents have been able to continue enjoying one of their favourite, nutritional foods and support Western Australian farmers during a tough year for banana growers.
With banana prices skyrocketing as a result of Queensland’s Cyclone Yasi and the Carnarvon floods, banana supplies to the Perth Zoo have been maintained thanks to a joint venture with the Sweeter Banana Co-operative in Carnarvon.
Environment Minister Bill Marmion said under the agreement, Perth Zoo was able to purchase bananas the co-operative would otherwise throw away, at significantly discounted prices.
“These bananas are heavily marked and classed as below second grade produce which would not be accepted by Perth retailers. However, they’re still fit for consumption,” Mr Marmion said.
“Bananas are a key dietary component for a number of species including bears, cassowaries, primates, elephants and smaller animals including birds and reptiles so maintaining supply is important.
“The added benefit of this partnership is that it supports banana farmers in Carnarvon whose product has been badly affected by flooding and insect plagues this year.
“These farmers have been able to get a small return on fruit that would otherwise have been wasted, assisting many of them to get back on their feet.”
The Sweeter Banana Co-operative said it was proud to support Perth Zoo in obtaining fresh bananas and looked forward to continuing the relationship into the future.