The humble banana is an Australian food staple, with 93% of households purchasing the fruit and the industry contributing over $1 billion to the Australian economy annually. But many are unaware of the eco-secret identity of one of the most distinct bananas on supermarket shelves – Perfection Fresh’s Ecoganic® Red Tip® Bananas.
Behind their bright red, food-grade wax tip lies decades of world-leading farming innovation and a mission of ecological restoration born from a desire to protect Australia’s natural resources, chief among them being the Great Barrier Reef, located alongside 94% of the country’s banana farms in sunny North Queensland.
Now, as we head into peak Ecoganic® Red Tip® Banana supply season, the Aussie mum and dad farming duo behind the world-leading, sustainable Ecoganic® farming method are celebrating the fruit of 25 years of biodiversity protection labour.
Frank and Dianne Sciaccia have changed the face – and taste – of bananas as we know them and developed farming for the better through their responsible, environmentally-friendly approach. It’s the future of farming and the next level beyond organic.
The Red Tip® signifies that Ecoganic® Red Tip® Bananas are produced using the scientific, third-party audited Ecoganic® farming method, which combines environmental management systems and sustainable production practices to minimise the impact of farming on the surrounding soil and sea, and help repair the surrounding natural habitat.
“Ecoganic® farming is farming with nature. Every creature plays a part in our ecosystem and we’ve invited the insects and nature’s other farmers back onto the plantation to work alongside us. They’ve brought with them all the natural benefits of farming that’s free from harsh chemicals and fertilisers, which have proven negative long-term impacts on biodiversity. And we’re seeing real, tangible results in our product and environment,” Frank says.
Such positive environmental impact and the Sciaccia’s compelling ecological restoration mission to rebuild and protect Australia’s land and waterways is why Ecoganic® Red Tip® Bananas are the only bananas to be endorsed by The Great Barrier Reef Foundation. It’s a relationship that is also celebrating a huge milestone – 20 years. And over all those years, a percentage of proceeds from the sale of Ecoganic® Red Tip® Bananas has been donated to the foundation.
To mark the occasion of their 20th anniversary with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the Sciaccias have pledged $10,000 as matched giving for the foundation’s 2023 Plant a Coral Appeal. Donations to the Plant a Coral Appeal can be made via the Great Barrier Reef Foundation website.
“The Great Barrier Reef Foundation is proud to support the Ecoganic® farming method and Ecoganic® Red Tip® Bananas. Over 20 years of partnership we have witnessed Frank’s and Dianne’s passion for ecological restoration and their unwavering commitment to protect our reef through responsible farming,” says Anna Marsden, Managing Director of The Great Barrier Reef Foundation. “It’s inspiring to see Aussie farmers leading such an innovative push to make a difference.”
The proven impacts involve regular audits and monitoring, and include:
. In the past 12 months, through Ecoganic® farming, the Eco Banana Group has reduced over 1,000 tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere (measured using the Queensland Government’s HortCarbon Info carbon calculating system).
. The bugs really are back!. Over the last eight years the number of useful insect orders in the Ecoganic® Red Tip® Banana farm soil has increased from 6 to 9. Since 2017 the number of insects recorded on monitored sites has almost doubled to well over 150,000. Insects play a vital role in ecosystem diversity, functionality and processes.
. Wildlife biodiversity (e.g., wild ducks) is booming. Strong biodiversity can increase agricultural production and can be a sign of a thriving, sustainable farm environment.
. The Ecoganic® method more than halves the amount of man made inputs in crop production on plantations, reducing the impact on the earth’s Biosphere. It is naturally self-sustaining and regenerative, so the ecosystem can be preserved, restored and perform life-giving ecosystem services.
. It also reduces food waste on the table, which costs Australian households $2,000 – $2,500 per year. Because the farming method is natural, it is slower than artificially boosted farming that speeds-up growth to maximise output. Due to this slow growth, Ecoganic® Red Tip® Bananas have a naturally longer shelf life, so they last longer in the fruit bowl.
That’s just the tip of the banana. Ecoganic® farming is not just good for the environment but for the consumer, producing a sweet and creamy fruit. We all know that bananas are a good source of energy and contain natural vitamins and minerals like B6 and Potassium, but compared to other bananas, Ecoganic® Red Tip® Bananas have lower GI carbs and are digested slower.
So, as we see an influx of bananas onto supermarket shelves this year, consumers need to look for the ones with a simple Red Tip®, to help support a not-so-simple mission to protect Australia’s important natural resources and help increase ecological restoration for the future.