By Natalie Sprott and Sebastian Sinclair

Australia’s banana industry has begun using social media as a tool to inform the public on the importance and development of its crops.

North Queensland Banana grower Steve Lizzio has been updating on YouTube at AustralianBananas the development of industry crops.

He says the reception surrounding the devastation has been positive and is doing it on behalf of Australian growers.

“We’re doing our best and all I can say is that Mother Nature has taken it out of our hands,” he said.

It has been three months since the devastation of Cyclone Yasi, which saw 85 per cent of Australian banana plantations ravaged.

Video marketer Geoff Drucker says social media has been a very effective tool.

“It’s far more efficient for us to provide up to date, live information on where stocks are up to, using facilities like social media,” he says.

He says the campaign has been successful so far and expects the use of social media in marketing to continue.

“I think that we are going to see more and more use of this communication because it is so efficient and immediate,” he says.

Banana prices are now up around $15 per kilo, seven times the price before Cyclone Yasi hit.

Clayfield Markets independent retailer Carlo Lorenti says customer reaction to the price hike has not been good.

“They aren’t buying as much as before, they’re watching what they buy as far as bananas are concerned,” he said.