With more than half of Australia’s population in lockdown, and border restrictions enforced across the country, it’s no surprise the fruit and vegetable wholesale industry has been heavily impacted.
According to a 9News report published on Friday morning, “border restrictions and business closures have had an enormous impact on Queensland farmers, resulting in an oversupply of produce”.
Producer wholesaler Noel Greenhalgh told 9News, as a result consumers should start to see some fruit and vegetable prices drop leading up to the Christmas period. However, there may be some price hikes as well.
“It’s quite extraordinary,” he said. “The amount of food cruise ships take out of Australia on a weekly basis is quite astronomical.
“The major factor that we’re faced with in this industry right now, that’s a huge headache is the lack of labour. We’ll just have to wait and see what prices do with those.”
So, what’s changing? Armstrong Grows produce wholesaler Lachlan Armstrong told 9News, stone fruits like peaches, nectarines and cherries may decrease in price, but veggies like celery, capsicum, beans and tomatoes could spike due to an undersupply. Orchard-based fruits such as apples and citrus fruits should remain “pretty competitive” in price.
Starts at 60 reached out to Woolworths for comment, however the supermarket chain said they couldn’t provide commentary on future pricing. However, in a statement provided, Woolies said they work with their growers to offer top quality produce at competitive prices. “As Today’s Fresh Food People, we understand how important it is to offer great value on fresh fruit and veg to our customers,” the statement read. “Together with our growers, we’ll continue to work hard to offer top quality Australian fruit and veg at competitive prices.”
Starts at 60 also reached out to Coles for comment.