To deliver fresh pineapples all over Australia requires a lot of hard work, combined with a tropical dash of local passion. We learn why Accorsini Pines are the jewel in NQ’s food bowl crown.
You could drive right past the small rural township of Mutarnee on a hot summer day and never even know you had been through.
But this little town on the banks of Crystal Creek, just north of Townsville, is home to a farm that is producing 1.1 million pineapples every year
The Accorsini Farm sprawls out over 500 acres and also produces watermelons and pumpkins as fallow crops.
But it is the pineapples that have made Tony Accorsini a local legend, with his products stocking plenty of local shelves as well as those in capital cities across the country.
The Journey Home
Tony loved living on the land as a young fellow. His father and brother ran the farm from 1964 and it has stayed in family hands ever since.
After a stint working as a motor mechanic, Tony returned home in 1984 with a thirst for working on the land once more, because there are things that farm life offer that no city job ever could.
“I enjoy being the master of my own destiny,” Tony says.
“There is a lot of freedom and I get a lot of reward out of producing a crop and harvesting.”
“I also enjoy the open air and being outside.”
The business remains a family affair to this day, a point of pride for the Accorsinis.
“I’m in partnership with my brother, Rodney. My son in law also works for us, as well as few long term permanent employees,” says Tony.
“My dad and uncle are still there, they are semi-retired. We also employ up to 15 locals and also backpackers around harvest season.”
The Distinct Differences
Tony is definitely a man of the land, a trait he truly holds dear.
“The satisfaction of being able to produce something that the community uses keeps me motivated,” he says.
“I enjoy reading the weather and being able to sow something from nothing.”
All of this has inspired him to create breeds of pineapple unlike any other in the world.
Low acid pineapples are one variety, presenting a lesser tart flavour profile that delivers more sweetness in each bite.
But then there is the Jubilee, one of the sweetest pines you are ever likely to wrap your lips around. It’s one of the sweetest pineapples around. The sugar level is 25 per cent higher than any other pineapple on the market.
The Challenges of the Land
But it’s not all a sweet experience.
Tony explains that working on a farm that produces more than a million pineapples a year has its own set of challenges.
“Getting people to do the work can be tough, it is physical labour – hot and hard work,” he says.
“The pressures of compliance as well as workplace health and safety are also a challenge; and the weather always has the final say.”
Where you will find Accorsini pineapples
The old school touch is still present at Accorsini Farm, with local businesses such as Lamberts Produce coming out to buy direct from the packing shed.
“We enjoy being able to service our local customers directly,” Tony says.
But Accorsini Farm also works in a co-operative partnership with NQ Paradise Pines at nearby Rollingstone, which means they can distribute their product far and wide.
So, if you are looking for the perfect sweet fruit for your table’s bowl, Tony urges you to shop local.
“We need to keep supporting local. We also need to keep buying fresh produce to keep growers in business.”
Accorsini Pineapples and NQ Paradise Pines are available locally from Lamberts Fresh Produce.
Long been a part of Townsville, the story of Lamberts’ transition to the fresh produce marketplace that it is today comes from a passion for getting a better deal for both regional shoppers and produce growers.
Keep it local, keep it fresh.