July 27, 2011
AUSVEG spokesperson Andrew White said today that a 10.3 per cent drop in vegetable prices for the June quarter confirmed by CPI figures released today signalled that vegetable prices were well on their way to returning to normal after the floods.
“Following a 16 per cent increase in the March quarter due to extreme flooding down the eastern coast of Australia, we were certainly expecting prices to normalise a fair bit in this quarter and that’s the message we have been getting from our growers,” Mr White said.
AUSVEG is the National Peak Industry Body representing 9,000 vegetable and potato growers around Australia.
“We have continually said that this would be a temporary economic impact on vegetable pricing due to the floods earlier in the year and in June we signalled that vegetable prices had started returning to what consumers would consider relatively normal levels,” Mr White said.
“Whenever there is a cold snap or extreme weather like we experienced earlier this year with the floods, there will be an impact on our growers and their ability to supply certain products to the market and this can be seen on a daily and weekly basis sometimes.
Over the long-term vegetables remain an extremely affordable commodity and they still represent great value to the consumer.”
“This is good news for the vegetable consumer. Prices and supply have clearly returned to more normal levels and this is validated by this 10 per cent drop in vegetable prices.”
“For the most part vegetable growers are an extremely resilient bunch, however some vegetable crops are more susceptible to damage due to the influence of weather extremes such as a cold snap or high humidity. Consumers should be very pleased to see that vegetable prices are now shifting back to more affordable levels.”
Mr White said that the perception that vegetables were priced highly compared to other food products was just not the reality.
“When you look at long term CPI figures and compare vegetables against other food products between say the early 1990s and late last year before the floods, the percentage increase of vegetables over that time is only a fraction of the increase of other foods.”
“We are of the view that vegetable prices, whilst susceptible to normal peaks and troughs due to weather conditions, will continue to normalise in the short to medium term.”