Renata Brak with her sons Leo, 4, Nicholas, 2 with healthy foods. Picture: Tim Hunter.
Renata Brak with her sons Leo, 4, Nicholas, 2 with healthy foods. Picture: Tim Hunter.

Fruit and veggie prices skyrocket

Exclusive: Fruit and vegetable prices have soared as much as 50 per cent as extreme weather hits family budgets.

Parents face a budgeting battle to put just about anything green on the dinner plate at the moment, with regions that grow baby spinach, snow peas, broccolini, beans, herbs, celery and lettuce hit by bad weather.

But shoppers are being implored to ride out the increases to help struggling growers.

Hot conditions in Victoria and Queensland's floods are among causes of the price spike.

A News Corp Australia analysis shows broccoli prices have soared from about $5/kg to as much as $10/kg at some supermarkets.

High temperatures in Victoria have led Woolworths to raise its price on broccoli to $8.90/kg while Coles is seeking $7.90 online. Aldi is at $7.69.

Broccoli is one of the items that has gone up in price. Picture: News Corp
Broccoli is one of the items that has gone up in price. Picture: News Corp

 

Supermarkets are charging as much as $25/kg for green beans and $18/kg for snow peas.

An AUSVEG spokesman implored shoppers to back farmers even if retail prices increase.

"We would urge local consumers to buy local fresh product when it is available, as it not only supports local farmers but is the best way to ensure that consumers are supporting their health," he said.

 

 

All of the grocery items that have gone up in price. Picture: News Corp
All of the grocery items that have gone up in price. Picture: News Corp

 

Many other vegetables are still good value, including pumpkin, carrots and zucchini.

Banana supplies have been crimped by flooding in Queensland.

This has pushed prices at some retailers to $6/kg. Woolies and Coles are charging $4.90/kg on their websites.

 

Bananas have gone up in price but it will be for a short period of time. Picture: Supplied
Bananas have gone up in price but it will be for a short period of time. Picture: Supplied

 

Australian Banana Growers' Council Chair Stephen Lowe told News Corp flooding in North Queensland and wet weather may also mean fruit might have minor superficial external damage.

"The bananas might have some marks on the skin," he said.

"They may not be as bright yellow as normal. But, ultimately the product still should taste the same inside."

Woolworths and Coles said they were working with North Queensland growers to resume normal supply and meet customer demand.

Better-priced breakfast and lunch box alternatives include oranges, pears and apples.

The price of red meat could spike due to flooding and drought.

 

Cattle and meat prices are still unkonwn after what’s happened in Queensland. Picture: Thinkstock
Cattle and meat prices are still unkonwn after what’s happened in Queensland. Picture: Thinkstock

 

A Meat and Livestock Australia spokesman told News Corp: "This is an extremely tough time for many Queensland cattle producers, especially on the back of the drought conditions many have been experiencing.

"As the situation is still unfolding, the full scale of the floods is unknown, and therefore impossible to ascertain the extent of the impact to cattle numbers and hence price," he said.

"Large stock losses can have an impact on cattle market prices, however it is difficult to anticipate the full impact at this stage. The floods may lead to tighter supply in the affected areas and may subsequently impact cattle prices in the short-term, however there are numerous factors that also influence prices, including seasonal conditions across other key cattle production regions, domestic and global demand, production from overseas competitors, currency movements and feed costs."

 

Renata Brak with her sons Leo, 4, Nicholas, 2 with healthy foods they eat all the time. Picture: Tim Hunter.
Renata Brak with her sons Leo, 4, Nicholas, 2 with healthy foods they eat all the time. Picture: Tim Hunter.

 

Mum Renata Brak from Alexandria in Sydney loves feeding greens to her boys Leo, 4, and Nicholas, 2 but has noticed her options have been in short supply.

Mrs Brak, 34, uses baby spinach in her omelettes, frittatas, salads and dinners.

"My two boys and husband are all big eaters and will pretty much eat anything, but I did notice the signs in the supermarket saying there was a shortage of spinach," she said.

"We usually eat broccoli and green beans at dinner and bananas are a staple for us - they stop tantrums between the boys.

"But they haven't had as much of that in the last week as there isn't as much in the shops."

She also said she is more than happy to keep supporting local farmers, but high prices will deter her.

"We support Australian farmers as much as we can and buy imperfect produce and don't like to waste food, but if something costs too much then there's no way I'm buying it," she said.

"My challenge is not going over the budget."

Mrs Brak is buying alternatives including carrots, pumpkin, capsicum, corn on the cob and cucumbers.

"Cucumbers are a must for us, everyone loves them and I can put them in salads and lunch boxes," she said.

"Stone fruit has been popular with us too, and apples have been a staple."

WHAT'S GONE UP IN PRICE:

Bananas - were $2.50-$4, now up to $6 a kilo

Cause: floods in North Queensland affected supplies and ability to get fruit out of region

Broccoli - was $3-$5, now $7-$10 per kilo

Cause: extended heat in Victoria affects growth, volume of quality

Broccolini - was $3-$4, now $4-$6 a bunch

Cause: extended heat in Victoria affects growth, volume of quality

Cauliflower - was $3-$4, now $6-$7 each

Cause: extended heat in Victoria affects growth, volume of quality

 

Iceberg lettuce is more expensive. Picture: iStock
Iceberg lettuce is more expensive. Picture: iStock

 

Herbs - were $2-$3 now $3-$4 each

Cause: a combination of heat, rain and humidity impacting crops

Baby spinach - was $17 a kilo, now up to $20 a kilo

Cause: extended heat in Victoria affects growth, volume of quality

Iceberg lettuce - was $2-$3 now $3.50-$4 each

Cause: extended heat in Victoria makes it grow too quickly and reduces volume of quality

Green beans (hand-picked) - were $6-$10 now up to $25 a kilo

Cause: extended heat in Victoria impacts flowering

Snow peas - were $7-$10 a kilo, now up to $18 a kilo

Cause: high heat, rain then more high heat affects volume of quality in Queensland and Victoria

 

 

Snow peas are also a bit more expensive due to weather conditions. Picture: Supplied
Snow peas are also a bit more expensive due to weather conditions. Picture: Supplied

 

WHAT'S STILL GOOD VALUE TO BUY:

Snake beans $2-$3 a bunch

Pumpkin (whole) $1-$2 a kilo

Carrots $1.50-$3 a kilo

Sweet potato $2-$4 a kilo

Corn on the cob 50 cents - $1 each

Lebanese cucumbers $3-$4 a kilo

Zucchini $3-$5 a kilo

Field grown capsicum $2-$4 a kilo

Onions $1.50-$2 a kilo

 

Apples are still good value. Picture: Thinkstock
Apples are still good value. Picture: Thinkstock

 

Button mushrooms $8-$12 a kilo

Valencia oranges $3-$4 a kilo

Apples $3-$8 a kilo (depends on variety and size)

Figs 50 cents to $3 each

 

Figs are very cheap right now. Picture: Thinkstock
Figs are very cheap right now. Picture: Thinkstock

 

Peaches, nectarines $3-$8 a kilo (depends on variety and size)

Green seedless grapes $4-$10 a kilo

Pears $2-$4 a kilo

Rockmelons $3-$5 each

Watermelon (whole) $1.50-$2.50 a kilo

 

 

NOTE: All prices are similar across Australia but they may vary per state and in store.



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