A word of warning: fruit and vegetable packaging in Australia is bright, risque, cheeky and just plain weird. Some feature cheeky innuendo like the upturned erect bananas on Dicko’s Bananas or a box of melons with a buxom 50’s babe on the box. Others are verge on hallucinogenic, like Dimbulah’s Srhoj Citrus featuring happy-faced citrus fruits doing handstands and playing cricket in a neon green and purple park.
Australian Artist Sean Rafferty sees this quirky Australian tradition as a way for farmers to stamp their personality and sense of humour onto their products. He loved Australian fruit boxes so much that he travelled around the country collecting them from bemused farmers and general stores. Now he’s collected 400 of them for an exhibition in Sydney.
According to Rafferty, the smaller the farm the more likely they are to have outrageous packaging. It’s like a farming family’s coat of arms, along with being a memorable marketing technique. Although it’s somewhat of a tradition to package fruit and veg in wildly colourful boxes, it’s more of a personal thing for each farm that speaks volumes about their playfulness and sense of humour, something that would come in handy for them in challenging times.