Devinder Singh with her brother-in-law Amarjit Singh at their family business Dinmore Fruit Barn.
Devinder Singh with her brother-in-law Amarjit Singh at their family business Dinmore Fruit Barn. Sarah Harvey

Vegetable prices increase five-fold

THE price of fruit and vegetables has begun to skyrocket as the state's devastating floods start to have an impact at the checkout.

Dinmore Fruit Barn owner Amarjit Singh said the floods had affected the price and quality of all fruit and vegetables.

“Everything is in short supply,” he said.

He said the weather had seen prices increase up to 500 per cent compared to this time last year, with vegetables such as cabbage increasing from about 99 cents a head to close to $6 a head.

“I'm expecting problems for another four to six months easily,” Mr Singh said.

“A lot of places are washed out and have to plant again.”

Yamanto Country Market owner Eddie Habchi said while 80 per cent of fresh produce was typically sourced from Brisbane markets, the business had started to source vegetables such as broccoli and lettuce from Victoria.

“That alone pushes the price up because it is at least $6 a box to transport to Queensland,” Mr Habchi said.

Mr Habchi said the effect of widespread flooding was just starting to have an impact, with the business unable to buy pawpaw for the first time yesterday.

He said “anything leafy” had been affected, as well as the supply of potatoes.

Mr Habchi said he was expecting prices to start getting dearer from next week.

Growcom chief executive Alex Livingstone said growers in areas such as Bundaberg, Chinchilla and Emerald had lost millions of dollars worth of produce.

“Crops have been lost in areas such as Chinchilla where the melon harvest was underway; in Emerald where citrus crops and table grape crops are damaged; and Bundaberg where salad vegetables have been hit together with fruit crops such as melons,” he said.

But Woolworths spokeswoman Clare Buchanan said there shouldn't be any significant short-term price rises apart from a few select produce lines such as melons, lychees and sweet potato.

Ms Buchanan said the season had moved south to Victoria, with the majority of produce sourced in Queensland grown in autumn and winter.



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