An Australian wasn’t happy when she discovered a foreign banana in the breakfast Qantas served to her on a flight home from New Zealand.
Toni Rogers says she’s shocked the national carrier is serving bananas from the Philippines given the amount of media coverage the imports issue has had.. . .
“It was also the fact that it was Qantas, if it was Air New Zealand I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought,” Ms Rogers says. . .
“That’s probably what concerned me more than anything else, Qantas was serving Filipino bananas in preference to our local growers,” Ms Rogers says.
She was also worried about how the bananas are disposed of and the potential quarantine threat they may posse people get them through airprot quarantine systems.
The Australian banana industry says it’s comfortable with the checks and balances in place to ensure fresh fruit doesn’t breach border biosecurity.
It’s more concerned about why the national carrier isn’t serving Australian bananas on trans-Tasman flights.
CEO Tony Heidrich says given the publicity surrounding the Philippine banana imports, this could be potentially damaging to Qantas. . .
“I think any Australian would like to see our national carrier supporting Australian industries, just as Australians try and support Qantas on the routes they operate.”
If the banana industry isn’t concerned about biosecurity breaches the issue isn’t fear of pests and disseases it’s nationalism.
The national airline should carry the nation’s produce, right? Not necessarily, there are other factors to keep in mind including cost and the trade implications.
If Australian bananas are more expensive would passengers still want them to be supplied in preference to bananas, or any other fruit, from elsewhere? And if they want Australian bananas on Australian planes will they accept that airlines from other countries favour produce from their own producers rather than from Australia?
New Zealand and Australia have the strictest biosecurity border controls I’ve encountered and for very good reaons. We’re both surrounded by sea with no very close neighbours which should make it easier to keep out unwanted pests and diseases, and primary industry is very important to our economies.
But we both need to be very careful about pretending to play the biosecurity card when what were really doing is playing the protectionist one.
Buying local pulls the heartstrings, but it’s not necessarily best.
Hat Tip: Larvatus Prodeo , go on click on it because something which starts with: Everyone knows that Kiwis constantly try to subvert our Australian way of life. They did it, for example by sending us Jo Bjelke-Petersen back in 1913 and then again with Russell Crowe. . . . is worth reading 🙂