A Victorian grower has called on the major supermarkets to drastically lower their prices for fruit and vegetables, as he thinks profit-gouging is hurting consumers and driving growers out of business. Ross Marsolino from Natural Earth Produce is a zucchini, tomato, and eggplant producer in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley. In a viral video, he stated he was planning to “walk away” from a 30-ha zucchini crop.

Marsolino said he had made the “heart-breaking” decision to walk away from so much stock — which he estimated would be worth at least $2 million — because the economics simply didn’t stack up.

“I’ve been doing this since I was 19, I’m just fed up,” he said. “I was a wholesale merchant for 16 years, now I’m at the other end of the scale as a farmer. I know how they operate.”

“The problem we face is all the major supermarkets, they’re retailing too dearly. They purchase the product for $1.80 a kilo and retail for $4.99 — it’s too much mark-up. Fruit and veg is the biggest mark-up in the supermarket there is, whether it’s brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, zucchini, capsicum.”

“[The supermarkets] are not retailing for low enough for what they’re paying [the growers] to keep the commodity moving.”

Source: news.com.au