The Fresh Fruit Shak owners Stuart and Zoe Chalk with their son Tyler, 2.
The Fresh Fruit Shak owners Stuart and Zoe Chalk with their son Tyler, 2. David Nielsen

Produce price hikes

FRESH fruit and vegetable prices may rise even further over the next few months.

Woolworths media relations manager Benedict Brook said the price of some produce, such as cauliflower and tomatoes, had risen in the past week as they were grown in the Lockyer Valley.

But Mr Brook said we may be yet to see the greatest rises as most fruit and vegetables were already sourced from southern states at this time of year.

He said grocers were more heavily reliant on Lockyer Valley and Queensland produce from autumn onwards.

“It’s still a bit of a case of wait and see,” Mr Brook said.

Mr Brook said some farmers were saying they would be able to replant, but it was too early to tell the impact the damage would have on future prices.

“You just don’t know until the damage has been assessed,” he said.

In early January, prices were predicted to skyrocket as severe storms lashed the region and many farmers lost their produce in the floods, causing prices to again rise last week.

The Fruit Shak owner Zoe Chalk said most prices had currently stabilised as roads reopened and grocers sought produce from alternate sources.

“It hasn’t been too bad with a lot of the produce,” Mrs Chalk said.

“It’s been hard to get some of it, but the prices had already started to go up because of the rain before the floods anyway.”

At the North Ipswich fruit and vegetable store, tomatoes had the most dramatic price variations.

Tomatoes cost $3.99/kg at Christmas and they rose to $7.99/kg last week. But this week, tomatoes were on sale for $1.99/kg.

Mrs Chalk said pumpkins and onions, previously sourced from the Lockyer Valley, had been hard to get in stock.



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