Durian season smelling great as Australia’s largest farm gives Perth a whiff-By Matt Brann

Durian season smelling great as Australia’s largest farm gives Perth a whiff-By Matt Brann



Australia’s largest durian farm is busy harvesting this year’s crop, and according to grower Han Shiong Siah, the season is looking and smelling great.

“If you can smell durian from the front gate, it’s a good sign,” he told ABC Rural.

“All of our fruit is tree-ripened, we collect them off the ground each morning, they’re fragrant and you just know they’re ready to go.”

Across Asia, the durian is regarded as the ‘king of fruits’, but their pungent smell is not to everyone’s liking and can be so offensive that in some countries it is banned on public transport and in hotels.

Mr Siah said, after a mild dry season, his family’s durian farm near Darwin was enjoying strong yields.

Key points:

  • Australia’s largest durian farm is expected to produce around 20 tonnes of fruit this season, up from 5 tonnes
  • Durians are regarded as the ‘king of fruits’, but many find their smell offensive
  • Canning Vale Markets received a consignment of 800 kilograms of NT durian this month, a record for WA

He said the first durians of the season had been sent to markets in Sydney and Melbourne, and his farm had also sent fruit to Perth for the first time.

NT durians head west

Tropical and exotic fruit sales manager for Mercer Mooney in Perth, Cameron Perna, said the arrival of durians from the Northern Territory was a big moment for his company.

“It was a little bit daunting, we got 800 kilograms of durian in one hit and had constant thoughts of ‘Is this going to sell?” Mr Perna said.

Mr Siah said it was Asian communities driving demand, but hoped all Australians would give the unique fruit a taste.

Mr Perna said the exotic and tropical fruit category in Perth “was exploding” in popularity.

“I’ve got another pallet of [NT] durian landing this Friday and pretty much half of it has already pre-sold,” he said.

“There’s a lot more demand now for these different fruits — like all of the sapotes are selling well, soursop, rambutans, lychees.

“They’re different, seasonal, and selling well.”

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