High vegetable price claims cannot be substantiated
AUSVEG today rejected claims that vegetable prices have been driven to a point that they are now unaffordable by Australian households.
AUSVEG spokesman Andrew White said that the data currently available from the markets did not support the claims being made of vegetables becoming unaffordable.
“Wholesale prices of vegetables are a good indicator of retail prices further down the supply line. The natural disasters that occurred in February saw wholesale prices rise but have since relaxed substantially,” he said.
AUSVEG is the national peak industry body representing the interests of over 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.
“Retail prices are derived from the wholesale price. When the wholesale prices go up, the retail price will follow. Currently the wholesale price is low and affordable,” Mr White said.
A spike in prices occurred after the floods down the east coast of Australia but new supply has since been grown and the cost of vegetables has normalised, Mr White said.
“The vegetable market is so competitive that any retailer trying to create an unfair advantage in the current pricing climate will find their prices undercut at the outlet around the corner. Unsatisfied customers should look to other stores where they will find competitive prices and shop around to ensure they are getting the best priced Australia grown produce they can find,” he said.
AUSVEG has repeatedly disputed claims that the prices of vegetables are unaffordable. In April, the CPI figures for the March quarter were released claiming that the price of vegetables was skyrocketing without taking into consideration the traumatic weather events that happened during that period.
Since then prices have normalised and growers have reported that they are now supplying markets once again.
“Unfortunately, there may be people out there cashing in on the media hype but it would be an unsustainable practice. Any of these isolated anecdotes that have been quoted recently are not reflective of the current environment,” Mr White said.