What’s taking place with strawberry costs?

Blueberry costs have jumped in latest days – however one grower has a tip for people who find themselves discovering the rise tough to swallow.

A strawberry was $5 at Woolworths in Whangarei’s Regent on Sunday, however had risen to $7 by Tuesday night on on-line buying web site Countdown. Berries have been $11.50.

Pak’nSave in Whangarei was promoting strawberries for $5.99.

Brilliant Corson, head of produce and butchery at Foodstuffs North Island, which operates Pak’nSave, New World and 4 Sq. shops, stated the strawberry season was beginning to wind down from its peak on the finish of November.

“This 12 months, the variety of strawberry vegetation within the floor has decreased by 25% and the value of contemporary produce will at all times be affected by provide and demand – when provide is low, costs rise.

The strawberry peak has passed.
Sweet Harris

The strawberry peak has handed.

“What’s thrilling is that the stone fruit and blueberries in Hawke’s Bay are beginning to come on robust and we’ve got good portions of cherries from Central Otago as properly.”

Tomato volumes have elevated by 25%, she stated.

A Woolworths spokesman stated there was very excessive demand for strawberries. Contemporary berries or canned or frozen berries will be an alternate, she stated.

Sally King, spokeswoman for New Zealand Strawberry Growers, agreed that final 12 months’s climate had decreased the variety of strawberry vegetation.

Demand from consumers was a part of the pricing equation, she stated, as was whether or not supermarkets have been ready to promote berries as a “loss chief.”

However though strawberries used to have a comparatively quick season, they’re now usually out there till late Could, she stated, as farmers have switched to totally different varieties and grown them utilizing hydroponics.

King stated strawberry shares ought to return to regular subsequent season.

Patrick Maley of Maungatapere Berries, which grows raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries, stated there was solely a small quantity of produce out there and farmers have been unable to open or shut the availability faucet.

“So when everyone seems to be attempting to get their favourite berries within the week earlier than Christmas, this demand versus restricted provide drives grocery store costs skyrocketing.

“Most individuals do not discover or touch upon the truth that berry costs collapse proper after Christmas as a result of despite the fact that the availability might be much like the earlier week, demand drops a lot.

“In addition to supermarkets elevating their costs this week, farmers and wholesalers will know that Christmas week represents a possibility to revenue in a tricky few seasons and are more likely to increase the costs of their provides too throughout this week, pushing costs up even additional.”

There needs to be loads of berries out there proper after Christmas, he stated. “If the costs make your eyes water a bit, purchase two bins as an alternative of 1 proper after Christmas.”

Meals costs fell by 0.2% in November in comparison with the earlier month, with strawberries being one of many driving components.

However Foodstuffs NZ managing director Chris Quinn stated final week berry provides had peaked and “value-seeking” Christmas consumers ought to look to cherries and nectarines.

He stated the largest year-on-year declines in meals costs have been for cabbage, down 35% on common, cauliflower by 29%, avocado by 26%, and lettuce by 24%.

Butter was decreased by 15% and lamb shoulder chops by 13%.

The New Zealand client stated the fluctuations may very well be attributed to elevated demand and the influence of a scarcity of competitors within the grocery sector.

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