AUSVEG spokesperson Andrew White said today that vegetable prices had now promptly returned to pre-flood levels following short-term price spikes in early January and February this year, with consumers now likely to find a range of bargain buying opportunities at the retail level.

“At the wholesale level, market prices have returned to similar levels as before the floods and are now at very appealing low levels for the consumer at the supermarket, greengrocer and farmers’ markets,” Mr White said.

“Broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin and lettuce prices in particular are now at similar wholesale pricing levels to before the floods, and in some cases lower,” he said.

“The volumes we are seeing in some of our wholesale fruit and vegetable markets are just incredible. I have witnessed this first-hand on a recent trip to the Melbourne wholesale markets and I can tell you the volume of supply of fruit and vegetables going through the markets at present is just enormous.”

AUSVEG is the national peak industry body representing 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.

“If you look at cauliflower wholesale prices in the Melbourne market as an example, prices for a deck of that crop went as high as $33 each in March but have now returned to the more normal average price of $13 each.”

“Iceberg lettuce wholesale prices went up to as high as $20 a carton in January, but are now back down to much more normal levels of $12 a carton.”

“This price normalisation will only result in more affordable and appealing price points for the consumer in the supermarket. This is great news for consumers.”

Mr White said that while growers would still feel the impact of the floods for many months, many were finally starting to get back on their feet from an operational perspective.

“There is no doubt that the floods had a significant impact on the vegetable growing community around Australia, whether it was through infrastructure damage, disruption in the supply chain with respect to logistics, or damage to crops, however, an increasing number of growers are now starting to at least get back to normal operational capacity.”

“Contrary to some commentary on the last consumer price index data with regard to the March quarter, prices are now actually at very affordable levels. The impact of the floods on prices was only ever likely to be short-term and these new wholesale figures, which appear to be reflected at the retail level also, confirm our view that prices are down.”

“Despite what the doomsayers said about inflation in the fruit and vegetable sector, this has not been the reality.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew White, Manager- VIDP Communications, AUSVEG Phone: (03) 9822 0388, Mobile: 0409 989 575, Email: