Banana wholesalers banded together on Tuesday 27 September at the auction in Sydney of the first bananas from Steve Lizzio’s Far North Queensland farm to announce the return of Australia’s favourite fruit after Cyclone Yasi.
With the McGrath Foundation as the nominated beneficiary from the auction, major banana wholesalers Mackays, Lamanna, Moraitis, Arcella and Wing Chong joined forces to place a knock out bid of $35,000 for a pallet of 64 cartons (each weighing 13 kg) of prime fruit donated by prominent grower Steve Lizzio from Liverpool River Bananas.
Banana Marketing Manager from Horticulture Australia, David Weisz said, ‘Growers have endured months of no income since the February cyclone wiped out their crops in the Innisfail/Tully area and it was a credit to the wholesalers who banded together to demonstrate their support for the industry as it starts to claw its way back.’
Steve Lizzio was thrilled with the auction outcome saying that raising $35,000 is a spirited auction was a great outcome and a positive way to say Australian Bananas are back.
Steve Lizzio has supported the banana industry since the cyclone struck posting 11 YouTube videos to keep consumers abreast of growing progress and the timing for today’s announcement event. His videos have propelled him to ‘stardom’ on the social media scene.
CEO of the McGrath Foundation, Kylea Tink, said the Foundation was touched to be nominated as the selected charity beneficiary because one of the banana grower families had been supported by the Cairns McGrath Breast Care Nurse.
‘The support from the banana growing industry really means the world to us because it means they truly understand the support our McGrath Breast Care Nurses can provide to a family experiencing breast cancer and why we need even more of these nurses nationally.
‘It’s wonderful to know that an industry that has gone through so much in this past year is so generously giving back to the community. They can be proud in knowing that the $35,000 raised from today’s banana auction will be helping support other Australian families going through a difficult time with a breast cancer experience. It truly is the epitome of our motto that ‘together, we can make a difference’, and for that we are extremely grateful,’ she said.
To complement the goodwill created by today’s event, the successful bidding wholesalers have donated the bananas they purchased at auction to children at the Randwick Children’s Hospital.