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Waste management practices in the banana industry with Paul Inderbitzin

Publication date: 5 July 2019


Podcast #3 from Growing Matters podcast series pilot

Paul Inderbitzin, a banana grower from far North Queensland, shares his experience from overseas with using plastic in banana growing. He explains why waste reduction in the banana industry is critical and shares his innovative method for recycling plastic into oil.

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This research was supported by the Hort Innovation Banana Fund through the project Banana industry support for Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarship (BA11003).

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About the speaker

Paul Inderbitzin
Lakeland, QLD

Paul received a 2013 Nuffield Scholarship to research fruit quality and waste management in the banana industry.

He works in the family farming enterprise as manager of 220 hectares of irrigated cropping/seed production and 40 hectares of bananas at Lakeland in north Queensland. The family business also includes an 8,000-tree macadamia orchard and composting operation on the Atherton Tablelands and Bella Coffee, a small coffee roasting business.

The family business has invested heavily in the banana industry in the past few years, an area of expansion Paul sees great potential in. However ongoing consumer demand for consistent production of high-quality fruit is an area which Paul sees as a real challenge for his industry.

“As growers, it’s critical we focus on waste management – most importantly measuring it and then implementing strategies to minimise it,” he says. In addition, Paul studied disease and quarantine challenges for the banana industry.

“I wanted to investigate these issues further as I see them as central to ensuring Australian banana growers are sustainable, profitable and not putting ourselves at risk to imports,” he concluded.

Podcast transcript

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About the Growing Matters pilot podcast series 

Hort Innovation's Growing Matters is a podcast series bringing you tangible information through easy-to-access audio that aims to help you on farm and to grow your business.

In the pilot series, growers, Nuffield Scholars, researchers and subject matter experts talk about protected cropping, waste management and sustainability.