Australian bananas just keep on innovating!

Thursday 1 April, 2016

Gavin Mackay pictured

In Australia, we are incredibly lucky to be home to some of the world’s best, mouth-watering bananas 12 months a year. Bananas are one of our *country’s best-selling supermarket items, and collectively, Australian eat more than five million banana’s every day.


If that’s not enough to make you sit up and say Wow, perhaps this will:  *all bananas sold in Australia are grown in Australia, and our banana industry generates over $600 million per year.


Such an inspiring position has not come about by accident. Decades of hard work, innovation and development are responsible. Industry has kept pace with increasing demand for quality bananas, and has constantly evolved to be more efficient and sustainable.


For this, we can be grateful for our committed banana growers and their communities, 90% of whom are based in North Queensland and the remaining across south-east Queensland, northern New South Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.


At the fresh-food vending machines, BananaBarTM and FruitBarTM, we stock bananas grown by one of our most innovative growers, the Mackay Family, who sell Cavendish bananas Australia-wide and their unique brand of ‘Smart Bananas’.


Proud family history reaps rewards


The Mackay Family’s banana growing history dates back to the post-war era in Queensland. Stanley Mackay began growing bananas in Tully in 1945 during a time of industry establishment and diversification.


The Mackay’s pioneering approach was defined by hard work and a perseverance to pinpoint high-tasting banana varieties and sustainable farming practices. As the industry and their business expanded, they evolved unique farming and handling practices to help achieve consistent quality, reliable fruit taste and size.


Fast forward to 2016, the Mackays are now third and fourth generation growers who run productive farms throughout Queensland. To this day, they are respected for their big-picture, innovative banana growing methods.


According to one of Stanley’s grandsons, Gavin Mackay (pictured on the smart banana packs), their family draws on Stanley’s legacy, which holds a “formidable” place in the history of Australia’s bananas.


“Granddad could see the potential of banana farming in Australia and always made time to provide advice and support for local growers,” said Gavin.


“So much so, that in 1985, he was presented the very prestigious ‘Medal of the Order of Australia Award’.


“We’re very proud to follow in Stanley’s footsteps, to always create the perfect environment in which to produce some of the world’s-best bananas.


“Our popular Smart Bananas are part of this legacy, and are produced with the consumer and our natural environment in mind.”


Why vend bananas?


Supermarkets and local greengrocers offer a great way to buy your weekly stash of groceries. However, we often need to access a smaller, convenient shopping environment. In what is a world-first in fresh-food vending, in recent years the Mackay’s diversified to  provide fresh bananas and a range of local, quality fresh produce and better snacks through fresh-food vending machines. The concept of the vending machines is not dissimilar to weekend farmer’s market stalls, except they provide local, fresh produce and better snacks 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


“Eating well on the run is challenging, and usually results in less healthy choices,” said Gavin. “Through vending, we are making it possible to access fresh, amazing produce away from home.”


A future without bananas unfathomable!


Can you imagine a world without bananas? Most of us would readily say NO. Access to fresh fruit and vegetables is cornerstone to our society’s wellbeing. Bananas provide a nutritious, flavoursome and versatile fruit that is hard to beat. So, let’s never take our awesome banana industry for granted. A word of advice from BananaBarTM and FruitBarTM: Keep on enjoying those bananas!!


Smart Banana’s a magnificent food innovation!


What is it about Smart Banana’s that makes them great?


  • Smart bananas are a snack-sized, sweet Cavendish banana.
  • Harvested at nine to twelve months, this variety produces reliable, consistent quality fruit.
  • Growing practices ensure tree stress is minimised and flavour and nutrients are maximised.
  • The Smart Banana is also environmentally smart: very low volumes of fertilisers are used; top-soil quality is maintained; and produce wastage is minimised.
  • Post-harvest bananas are washed, dried and packaged on-farm. Hand selection of harvested fruit ensures only the best produce goes to market.
  • Pre-transport, the bananas are wrapped in a special seal to ensure freshness from farm-gate to the consumer.

More information:


*Source -

Mobile contact:

Mike Evans (Marketing) – 0419 843 253

Julie Lloyd (Communications) – 0415 799 890