Growers are also suffering from increasing fruit and veg prices

As consumer confidence in the produce industry is dropping, some customers are wondering if growers are now reaping big rewards. This does not seem to be the case.

Allan Fong's family has been in the horticulture business for nearly 60 years. He said there has never been a more difficult time to be a grower: "I'm looking back when I was in my early 20s and I can honestly say I'd rather be back then than now."

A few years ago many of his buyers were in hospitality, but Covid-19 took away almost all of these clients. "We basically lost up to or between 80-100 percent of our food service business, which means cafes, restaurants, hotels, so their tourism business was really decimated and like all other industries associated with that. I mean when a cafe or restaurant fails that in turn impacts on us."

Costs are increasing dramatically.
"Fertiliser's between a 60-80 percent increase this year; crop protection products, probably anything from 25 to 30 percent increase, diesel got up to a 25 percent increase. So these are all impacted on us. Our freight rates have gone up because of the diesel surcharges."

So despite many shoppers assuming growers are putting up their prices due to these overheads, that is not the case.

Source: rnz.co.nz


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