Carve a pineapple this spooky season to help our farmers
Sunshine Coast pineapple farmers are urging people to embrace spooky pines this Halloween to help growers doing it tough.
With much of Australia in lockdown, restaurants closed, planes grounded and cruise ships brought to a standstill due to COVID-19, pineapple farmers' regular trade route has been cut off for the past two years.
Now growers fear this year's bumper crop will go to waste.
Fourth generation Sunshine Coast pineapple farmer Ken Fullerton says embracing spooky pines allows families to put an Aussie spin on the popular American holiday.
"Swap the pumpkin out for a pineapple," he says.
"Carve it out, the kids will love it, you can make different faces in it.
"I hope everyone can jump on board again this year and carve up a few pineapples.
"The more people that can do that, we'd be very grateful."
The 48-year-old admits it's been a rough trot with sales slumping and labor shortages due to the pandemic.
"Some fruit we have been leaving behind because it's too ripe and we can't sell it," he says.
"We have to send that to juice and that's worth $150 a tonne compared to $600 (per tonne) for the fruit.
"It shows how much Australia relies on working holiday-makers."
Fullerton Farms has been in operation for more than 100 years when Mr Fullerton's great-grandfather emigrated from Scotland to Queensland.
He now plants more than two million pineapples every year and harvests more than five million.
Queensland is the backbone of the industry in Australia planting millions of pineapples from the Sunshine Coast to Mareeba in the far north.
Images: Tropical Pines