Woolworths, Coles warn as shoppers will suffer price hikes

Woolworths, Coles warn as shoppers will suffer price hikes

Australians looking forward to summertime stone fruit may find that some of their favorite produce will be harder to find in the run up to Christmas as record rainfall and devastating floods continue to ravage farmland in the eastern states.

Fruits such as peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines are likely to see prices rise as supermarkets warn that recent flooding has affected the supply and transport of fresh fruit in New South Wales, Victoria and other key farming areas.

Lower offer

Both Woolworths and Coles, two of Australia’s largest supermarket chains, have already begun to recognize the flooding’s impact on the supply of produce, warning of potential shortages as farmers in the agricultural belt battle the elements to save their produce.

“The flooding is affecting the ability to pick, pack and ship fresh fruit across the country,” a spokesman for Coles told Yahoo News Australia. “Our growers are doing an excellent job of mitigating most of these impacts, but you will see that early season stone fruit is less available at the moment.”

The supply of stone fruit such as peaches, apricots and nectarines is expected to be limited this summer as flooding hit Australia’s farming regions. Photo credit: Getty

However, the spokesperson says that although the flooding has been affecting their Victorian farmers for a number of weeks, they remain optimistic that when the waters recede and the sun shines, “the quality, taste and availability of produce will not be material into the summer.” be affected”.

Popular snacks could also be taken

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said in an address to Everyday Rewards members that they expect a “delayed start” to the season for fresh fruit and vegetables, including cherries and stone fruit, as La Niña continues to wreak havoc in the food belt.

“Bad weather, particularly in Tasmania, has also impacted supplies of frozen vegetables (like corn and potatoes) and potato chips,” Banducci said. “On the good news, mango season is upon us and there will be more supply.”

“We’re working hard to ensure we stock enough of everything, but please be patient if you see any gaps at this time. The bad weather has exacerbated ongoing supply chain challenges (e.g. shortages of raw materials, pallets and truck drivers) so it’s far from easy,” he explained.

The supermarket giants say they are working with growers and suppliers in affected regions and are pledging support for farmers hit by the floods and bad weather.

Two major supermarkets in south-east Sydney have been identified as places of concern.  Source: Getty, file.

Australia’s two major supermarkets have announced there will be stock issues ahead of Christmas. Source: Getty, file.

Huge financial impact

In New South Wales alone, the NSW Farmers Association found that more than two-thirds of the state’s farmers have been hit by flooding for the second straight year, with more than three-quarters saying they have grown less than half their usual amount during the winter crop this season in response to wet weather.

Xavier Martin, President of NSW Farmers, said in a statement they expect the financial impact to be huge as harvesting efforts are delayed by several weeks as flood waters continue to wreak havoc on roads and paddocks.

“Frankly, farmers say they’re a little over it and it’s not hard to see why,” Martin said. “We know these farms are a home and not just a place of work, and coping with the uncertainty, stress and anxiety of living through this ongoing cycle of natural disasters is challenging.”

“When you consider that farming has been a pretty expensive operation over the past year and now so much of the food and fiber we grow has been destroyed or damaged, it’s really difficult from both a personal and business perspective,” he explained further that many farmers reported that roads, fences, bridges and culverts on the farm needed to be replaced, with repair bills estimated at over $100,000.

“Unfortunately, this disaster is not over yet, but we know that this year will not only go down in history as one of the worst widespread floods,” said Martin. “A lot of this flood damage is uninsurable and we will feel the effects well into next year if we miss the summer seeding window because the ground is still so wet.”

disaster relief

In a separate statement, NSW Farmers also expressed the need for an urgent increase in emergency payments to flood-affected communities.

“The federal government’s $25,000 in emergency payments for primary producers represented only a third of the $75,000 offered to farmers affected by previous floods, and many communities will struggle to rebuild without major assistance, rebuild the roads,” the group said.

“There needs to be a quick and equitable response to natural disasters, no matter where you live, so people know what to expect and can access the help they need,” Martin said. “We are gaining a lot of experience surviving these natural disasters, and as our governments become better at responding, there is clearly more that can be done.”

“It’s critical that state and federal governments now offer the same type of support that they gave to farmers and businesses in the North in the North because these natural disasters take a long time to recover from these natural disasters – both emotionally and financially.” ‘ He added, ‘This is a real and evolving situation that requires a significant response.’

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