US Defense report: Pacific commissaries save millions, customers pay the price

The US Department of Defense has confirmed that the new system for getting fruits and vegetables to commissaries in Japan and South Korea is saving the government $38 million a year, but at the expense of commissary customers. Prices are now 21 percent to 32 percent higher than under the previous contract.

The Defense Commissary Agency just didn’t analyze how the new system would affect customer prices and fresh produce quality. They also didn’t adequately evaluate the feasibility of getting fresh produce items from in-country sources for commissaries in the Pacific theatre.

Furthermore, a majority of commissary customers surveyed rated the quality of fresh produce in the commissary to be worse than the quality of fresh produce sold at local markets in Japan and South Korea. Yet commissary prices were 27 percent to 45 percent higher than local market prices.

According to, commissary customers in Japan and South Korea are paying an average of 49 percent more for fresh fruits and vegetables than they paid at this time last year.

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