Article by: Hari Yellina
There should finally be some good news for consumers amid the sorrow and gloom of soaring fruit and vegetable prices. Due to extremely dry growing circumstances in the main producing locations in south-east Queensland and Bundaberg in 2019–20, fresh ginger has been relatively pricey for the last 18–24 months. Retail costs have reached as high as $75 per kilo, putting this potent “superfood” beyond of the economic range of the majority of average Australians. A huge crop of newly grown ginger is already being harvested due to the early start of cold weather in Queensland and excellent rains over the past 12 months.
Numerous scientific studies from all around the world have shown that ginger is a real nutrient powerhouse and is among the world’s healthiest spices. It is well known for its ability to soothe upset stomachs and lessen motion sickness, but it also includes a lot of phytochemicals that have been found to have antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-neuroinflammation properties. According to Jane Richter, co-owner of TERES Farming, a small family-run ginger farm in the Glass House Mountains that grows all of their product without the use of pesticides, “We monitor the wholesale prices in the major state central markets throughout the year and you can certainly tell very easily when the new season harvest has got under way as the price drops through the floor!”
Of course, no farmer wants to see wholesale prices fall, but what is even more discouraging is when there is no decrease in the price that merchants are charging for your goods. Fantastic fresh large-sized mature ginger’s wholesale market sale price in Sydney has plummeted to below $10 per kilo, but the commodity is still being marketed at $45 or more per kilo by the main retail chains. “According to what we’ve been told, the market’s new supply has increased significantly but the demand just isn’t sufficient to absorb it. But of course, why would individuals – who are already battling to balance the household budget – want to start buying fresh ginger again if the price that an ordinary Aussie has to pay hasn’t come down at all?
“Right now, what the ginger sector needs most is for the major retailers to support the growers by lowering their retail pricing to match what they are paying at a wholesale level. It’s a fantastic chance to help their customers, who we all know are struggling, while still generating a nice profit margin for themselves, adds Jane. It’s a fantastic time to reintroduce fresh ginger to your diet to keep you healthy all winter long, especially with the cold weather, the flu, and COVID-19 spreading across the neighbourhood.