Although asparagus are abundant and cheap in the South Island, Auckland’s lockdown is negatively affecting demand. A Countdown spokesperson said there was plenty of asparagus and stores there were selling bunches for $3: “The only watch out is that the South Island is now currently experiencing a bout of wetter and colder weather, which could slow growth for the next few days.”
The North Island had had a comparatively slow start to the season due to cooler than average weather, asparagus was selling for $3.50 a bunch last week in North Island stores. Supply was expected to increase in the coming weeks, she said.
The lack of demand from cafes, restaurants and hotels in the Auckland region meant the South Island’s crop didn’t have a big market. Asparagus exporters were also facing issues with supply chain difficulties but had more visibility than domestic suppliers, who were at the mercy of Government decisions. The horticulture sector was already suffering from a severe labor shortage and the uncertainty around lockdowns left growers unsure about whether or to not plant crops.
Photo source: Dreamstime.com