Media releases

Honey Gold season ends on a high


Honey Gold mango season has ended the season on a high with a record January up 43 per cent in volume, and just less than its record season in 2022-2023.

Managing director Gavin Scurr said initial predictions were for a light season following a poor winter flowering due to irregular cool snaps in key growing regions. The forecast was in line with Australian mango industry expectations.

However, Piñata’s own farms in Darwin, Katherine and Mataranka in the Northern Territory produced a reasonable crop between mid-November and mid-December before third-party growers in Queensland harvested a bumper crop in January.

“Despite two cyclones and record rainfall in Far North Queensland, our third-party growers defied their own predictions of a light crop, with all Queensland growers producing a good crop. For some it was the biggest crop they’ve ever had.

Growers in cyclone and flood-affected regions executed their well mapped-out contingency plans. They were right on top of disease and did not risk leaving fruit on trees any longer than they needed."

The Mareeba district had more than its average annual rainfall of 900mm between mid-December and mid-January, right at harvest time.

"Weather conditions caused a convergence of fruit from multiple growing regions – with growers in Mareeba running late and Gladstone, Bundaberg and southern Queensland running early - resulting in an extremely busy January. The last Honey Gold was picked on February 19.

“Some of these growers have been with us since the beginning of the Honey Gold journey in 2002 and they drew on knowledge of the variety and their long-term mango growing experience to work with the conditions,” Mr Scurr said.

The variety was typically more consistent and adaptable than many other varieties, he said.

Sales up on 2022-2023

Mr Scurr said pre-Christmas sales were excellent due to smaller volumes of mangoes in the market. That rebounded to below average in January yet overall resulted in an average price which was up on the previous season’s price.

“Our national retail customers commended us on the quality of fruit all season and we’ve had excellent feedback from consumers all over Australia.”

Piñata Farms has a network of some 30 third-party growers producing Honey Gold mangoes in the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia, producing Honey Gold mangoes over about 570 hectares.

Piñata Farms will share Honey Gold season outcomes at the annual Honey Gold Congress in Cairns from May 19, where the annual Grower of the Year will be announced.