Small strawberries mass-dumped amid demand for extra-large sizes

A Queensland strawberry grower has posted an emotional video to social media, despairing about throwing away drum loads of edible fruit because they do not meet retailers’ demand for extra-large berries as the season reaches its peak.

A spike in winter temperatures brought fields to peak production late last week.

In response, Coles dropped prices to as low as $1.00 per 250-gram punnet in New South Wales over the weekend to help suppliers move tonnes of excess produce.

Warmer weather has resulted in a glut of fruit and discount prices.

Warmer weather has resulted in a glut of fruit and discount prices.

The glut may be great news for strawberry lovers, but growers are counting the cost.

On Friday, Wamuran grower Mandy Schultz received a phone call from a wholesale agent to say he was not accepting anything but extra-large strawberries.

She walked through her family’s packing shed that night, filming the trays of rejected sweet, small fruit that had been emptied into drums for disposal.

Mandy Schultz was appalled by fruit waste on their farm so decided to freeze and freeze dry strawberries.

Mandy Schultz was appalled by fruit waste on their farm so decided to freeze and freeze dry strawberries.

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