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Vegetable growers encourage people to buy local

Cost-of-living forces people in remote Australian regions to give up fresh produce

Prices are expected to keep rising to make up for on-farm losses and growing input costs. Freight costs and supermarket monopolies mean rural Australians can pay up to three times more than city dwellers for some items.

As food prices continue to rise, some Australians has been struggling to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat. Researchers say remote communities are getting hit hardest by rising food prices.

According to abc.net.au, many shops have no option but to pass on growing expenses to customers.  IGA employee Natasha Loftus has watched prices go up by about 15 per cent over the past few months. She said there were some items, such as lettuce and broccoli, that they simply did not order anymore — either because they had become scarce or customers were not willing to pay for them.

This week, when lettuce skyrocketed to $12 in supermarkets across the country. A while back, one couple noticed that the fruit and vegetables they bought did not taste rich in nutrients anymore. Therefore, the couple wanted to provide for the community. Mr Higgins left his job as a plumber and Ms Higgins said goodbye to her job as a teacher so they could both pursue their green dream.

"We wanted to build the community by having something where people can come with their families, learn things, and share things," Higgins said. "It's healthy to be involved in nature and getting your hands dirty, and showing your kids where your food comes from, I think, is pretty important."

The pair began their business venture aiming to encourage people to buy local produce and start their own gardens. The message, they said, came at a crucial time when supermarket prices continued to climb with no end in sight.

Source: abc.net.au


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