The Australian Bureau of Statistics' latest Consumer Price Index showed that the cost of fruit rose 3.7 per cent from March to June, but industry experts believe the price of most produce should be on its way back down.
Australian farmers in the first half of 2022 faced increases in the cost of growing their produce and getting it to market. A labor shortage across the country has reduced the efficiency of production while the price of diesel for machinery and freight, and fertilizer to grow crops, increased in the pandemic. Devastating floods across northern New South Wales and southern Queensland also wiped out entire crops.
Fortunately growing conditions have been favorable over winter and many affected by flooding events earlier this year are close to replacing their lost produce.
According to Shaun Lindhe, the spokesperson for the peak industry body for Australian vegetables, Ausveg, said cumulative flooding washed away top soil, damaged irrigation and fencing, and made for soggy soil which can cause problems with machinery. However, he said farmers worked hard to replenish farms and produce is once again consistently coming out of regions like the Lockyer Valley in Queensland, a major winter growing region devastated by floods.
"And when availability product goes up, demand and prices can go down, which is good for consumers."