Lets talk: When it comes to cheap goods, how low should we go? 22

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A new store selling food for just 50 cents has some people worried. Whilst cheap groceries can sound tempting, what are the broader costs for Aussie farmers and our society?

The first “easyFoodstore” opened its doors in London this week, selling a range of 76 packaged foods for the equivalent of 50 Australian cents.

Tea, coffee, juice, sugar, jam, biscuits, cake, potato chips, popcorn, chocolate, pasta sauce, spaghetti, crackers, flour, cereal, canned fruit and vegetables are just some of the items on offer at easyFoodstore.

London locals have apparently been queuing out the door to get their hands on these super-cheap goods. easyFoodstore is even giving German discounter Aldi a run for its money, and it’s got plans to expand.

Despite this, not everyone wants to see easyFoodstore in Australia. Recent newspaper reports show that Aussie farmers already have it tough enough, when it comes to competing with cheap foreign goods.

This week alone, fruit farmers said that Woolworths and Coles still pay the same price for peaches and nectarines as decades ago.

A farmed named Graeme Butler said, “our outgoing (costs) as a whole have increased approximately 40 per cent over the last 10 years”.

“This includes things like freight, wages and superannuation, packaging, water, rates, fertilisation and farm equipment”.

Graeme said despite increasing costs, farmers are still “getting the same prices now as we were getting 15 years ago”. Coles and Woolworths often import their fruit from overseas, to keep prices in-store down.

Sometimes it seems like in our quest to bag a bargain, we’ve forgotten the true values involved. As one Starts At Sixty reader put it:

“For decades we have chased ‘cheaper’ where what we need to do was pay a little more (and in many cases it was very little more) for Australian made. If we buy Australian, we buy our grandkids a job”.

Are you worried about cheap foreign goods damaging Aussie farmers? Do you shop local, or are bargain prices more important to you? Would you shop somewhere like easyFoodstore?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. While it would never be my first choice to shop at one of those stores, I can understand that there are many people on PENSIONS AND LOW INCOMES who may be forced to do so to make ends meet. These people are doing it very tough and yet they must consider their overall expenses just to keep their heads above water which is near impossible with the continuing PRICE INCREASES in EVERYTHING EXCEPT THEIR PENSIONS.

    1 REPLY
  2. I would not shop there. I would view this with a great deal of suspicion. They are obviously cost cutting somewhere and that is the worry.

  3. I don’t use Aldi because most of their stuff comes from overseas.

    4 REPLY
    • Please Karen, Aldi seems to have a higher percentage of Australian grown and manufactured goods than either Coles or Woolworths. Instead of canning them out of hand, why don’t you take a good look.

    • Actually you’re wrong there karen. Go and have a look in Aldi’s, they have more Aussie products than the so-called ‘big 2’. It’s one of the reasons I shop at Aldi

    • I bet you have never been in an Aldi store, I guarantee you will find more locally sourced products in Adli than Woolworths and Coles !!

    • Interesting, because I have been to my local Aldi and it’s mostly foreign. And the fruit & vegs I wouldn’t have touched with a barge pole, look like it had been sourced from a skip bin.

  4. I might have a look but mainly try to buy Australian you just don’t know how things are grown and made in places like China even America they use to much G. M.O. crops and to much roundup

  5. Mostly I feel you get what you pay for – I stopped buying the house brand because it was usually second grade, and at these prices I suspect the grade is much lower, so probably would not shop there. But there are low income people who would appreciate these prices, or who dont agree with me about the quality.

  6. rarely buy fruit and vegies from overseas. I’d prefer to pay a little more, eat less and enjoy more.

  7. Many have tried to sell good fruit and vegetables in the malls, but the big 2 undercut them and next thing they are gone. Same with butchers and it is such a shame. I liked the butchers because living on my own, I could buy 2 chops or what I wanted and not have to buy a whole tray.

  8. It comes down to what one can afford, we would all love to buy the best of everything and not have to worry about the cost but there has to be a compromise at times and that’s where it becomes a personal decision on what to for go. I would spend on average $150 a week for my wife and I. I look for specials on items we prefer and often stock up so that we don’t need to buy it until it’s on special again. We don’t eat a lot of meat but the same applies, I buy any good cuts on special and place them in the freezer. I must say we are fortunate to have enough super to live comfortably but I do wish that those relying solely on a government pension were better accommodated.

  9. Trying to get some glazed cherries – can only find ones from Thailand. Just left them right there!!

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