Amid the doom and gloom of skyrocketing fruit and vegetable prices there should finally be some good news for shoppers. Fresh ginger has been fairly expensive for the last 18-24 months due to very dry growing conditions in the major production areas in southeast Queensland and Bundaberg in 2019-20. Retail prices have been seen as high as $75 per kilo which certainly puts this mighty ‘superfood’ out of the reach of most everyday Australians.
The early onset of cold weather in Queensland coupled with great rains in the last 12 months means there is a bumper crop of newly matured ginger being harvested right now.
Ginger is a real nutrient powerhouse with many scientific studies from around the world proving it is one of the healthiest spices on the planet. As well as being widely recognised for its ability to help soothe upset stomachs and reduce nausea, it contains a large number of phytochemical compounds which have been shown to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-neuroinflammation benefits.
“We watch the wholesale prices in the major state central markets all year round and you can certainly tell very easily when the new season harvest has got underway as the price drops through the floor!” says Jane Richter, co-owner of TERES Farming which is a small family ginger farm in the Glass House Mountains, growing all of their product without the use of pesticides or other chemical sprays.
“Of course, watching wholesale prices plummet is not what any farmer wants to see, but what is even more demoralising is when you don’t see any drop at all in what the retailers are selling your product for.”
The wholesale market sale price in Sydney recently dropped to below $10 per kilo for fabulous fresh large-sized mature ginger, and yet the product is still being sold at $45 or more per kilo by the major retail chains.
“We’re being told that the demand just isn’t there to absorb the large increases in fresh supply that’s come into the market. But of course, if the price that an ordinary Aussie has to pay hasn’t come down at all then why would people – who are already struggling to balance the household budget – want to start buying fresh ginger again?”
“What the ginger industry really needs right now is for the big retailers to get behind the farmers and drop their retail prices in line with what they are paying at a wholesale level. It’s a great opportunity to give something back to their shoppers - who we all know are finding it tough - whilst still making a healthy profit margin for themselves,” says Jane.
And with the cold weather, and flu and COVID-19 spreading throughout the community, it’s a great time for adding fresh ginger back into your diet to help keep you fighting fit throughout the winter.
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