Article by: Hari Yellina
After a challenging wet season, potatoes are predicted to be the next common vegetable to see price increases. Farmers predict price increases of at least 30%, which would make four kilogrammes of potatoes $12. According to Michael Siptle, president of the Lockyer Valley Growers Association, supply constraints will last for some time. He informed Laurel, Gary, and Mark that “from what I’m hearing out of the south, their supply is drying out.” “Normally, the Lockyer Valley would be approaching its potato harvest very soon, but regrettably, not much was planted here either. “Things don’t grow well in the winter; it’s winter. This could continue for a while.
The majority of the potatoes used in Australia’s takeaway and frozen food industries, including items like chips and wedges, are supplied by Tasmanian potato growers. Leigh Elphinstone, a grower, stated that talks with processors were in progress, but he warned consumers to be aware of the outside forces driving their desire for a price increase. He claimed that growers in Tasmania felt the same way as those in Western Australia. According to Mr. Elphinstone, “We need to sell our story, explain where we are coming from, and the difficulties that we are dealing with.” “We have no control over these variables. “Things like the extreme weather events we have been going through — during the past 10 years every record has been broken, whether it be the wettest year, driest year, coldest year, or hottest year. Such extremes are definitely coming into play.
Consumers must be made aware that if they want the highest-quality food, everyone involved must pitch in and support one another. Tyson Cattle, national public affairs manager for AusVeg, said data showed fresh vegetable prices had increased by more than 7% over the previous two years, while production costs had increased by 35 to 45 percent during about the same, if not shorter, time span. In order to “find a balance” between preserving supply and ensuring fair returns for growers, Mr. Cattle said talks with wholesale and supermarket customers were in progress.
Growers of fresh vegetables have a history of being price takers, according to Mr. Cattle. “Everyone is aware of the difficulties that are present, but we need to find a middle ground in terms of what is a decent price for the customer, keeping that demand while also ensuring that growers receive a fair price,” the author says. Several of the biggest supermarket buyers and processors in Australia were approached by Landline. In the last six months, Woolworths held “collaborative dialogues regarding our price with our regular suppliers, taking into account cost constraints created by inflation,” a spokeswoman for the company told the ABC. They added, “We’ll continue to work closely with our suppliers to understand market variances and jointly address industry-wide difficulties.