Hundreds of tons of Australian citrus fruit are being dumped due to labor shortages and a lack of supermarket demand. Across Queensland’s North Burnett region, Australia’s largest citrus supplier, entire paddocks of mandarins, lemons and grapefruits rot on the ground.
Citrus grower Bevan Young said a shortage of workers early on pushed harvest later into the season which has created an oversupply of fruit as Queensland growers are forced to compete with fruit from other regions. He said it’s likely he’ll have to toss half his crop. Citrus farmers have conceded they don’t expect to turn a profit this season, but are hopeful for next year if they get support from the government to expand quarantine facilities for seasonal workers.