Article by: Hari Yellina
Gone are the days to purchase our favourite salty snacks at affordable prices, since the expense of living is continuing to deplete our savings. In the next weeks, a 4kg bag of ordinary potatoes will likely join iceberg lettuce in the $12 club in Australian supermarkets due to farmers’ warnings of a probable 30% price increase. A price increase for potatoes also means a price increase for our favourite hot chips, with price increases anticipated at eateries, fish and chip shops, fast-food restaurants, and pubs. Sports fans should prepare to feel the pinch as prices for popular sporting events rise in the upcoming weeks as MCG eateries try to adjust.
According to a representative for the MCG, “The Melbourne Cricket Club, which serves as the venue’s manager, and our hospitality partner Delaware North are assessing food and beverage prices in light of the current supply chain problems.” The MCG agreed to reduce the price of popular food items between 2015 and 2017, bringing the cost of a small bag of chips down from $5.60 to $4.20. If the MCG decides to match the 30% price increase, football fans will expect to pay nearly $6 for the salty favourites, compared to the $4.50 small chips that Blues and Cats supporters could purchase at the G last weekend. Although some spectators may find the change unpleasant, the stadium will still outperform costs at takeaway restaurants that appear to be increasing a small serve to close to $9.
Early in June, as prices rose, KFC and Subway decided to switch out lettuce for cabbage, while Hungry Jack’s started putting less lettuce on their burgers. Eye-watering potato prices are being attributed to increases in fuel prices, production expenses, labour, and energy rates, as well as a threefold increase in fertiliser prices as a result of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. James Weir, a potato farmer from NSW, stated on Tuesday’s Today show that the primary issue was the cost of production. To be able to make it sustainable for us, producers like us “require more,” according to Mr. Weir. The cost of fertiliser has truly taken us by surprise, and an improvement is not in the cards either. The NSW floods also had an impact as many farmers lost their crops.
“We grow seed potatoes here in Crookwell and we’ve had to cancel a lot of our orders due to losing our crops. And I know some of our clients are not even going to plant a potato this year because around Sydney their farms have just gone under water,” Mr Weir said. “I am not sure when it will get easier. If we don’t see the increases in prices on our end, I think a lot of farmers are in trouble.”