Rachel Erbacher of Erbacher's Fruit and Veg with a large selection fresh produce at great prices.
Rachel Erbacher of Erbacher's Fruit and Veg with a large selection fresh produce at great prices. Darryn Smith

Eat your vegies! Healthy sign for shoppers as prices tumble

IF YOU think adding honey to your carrots makes them sweeter, try slicing a few dollars off the price and taste the difference.

The cost of winter vegetables is expected to plummet in coming weeks as fresh supplies begin arriving at greengrocers on the Sunshine Coast.

Half-priced cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers and shallots have already hit the shelves, with beans, capsicums and snow peas soon to follow.

Erbacher's Fruit and Vegetable at Diddillibah owner Cyril Erbacher said good weather conditions during the past month had helped the crops recover from a terrible storm season.

"The change in weather has a dramatic affect on the price of vegetables," Mr Erbacher said.

"At the start of the year, we saw the cyclone wipe out (much) of Northern Queensland's farming industry.

"Now, with better weather, we are seeing a good supply starting to roll in, which will push prices down."

The Consumer Price Index shows a tough trading environment fuelled a 4% decrease in vegetable prices in the March 2013 quarter.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' information shows the fall followed price decreases for the past two successive quarters.

"Prices over the past two quarters indicate without a doubt that in early 2013, vegetables remain extremely affordable for the consumer," AUSVEG industry development manager Andrew White said.

"Australian-grown vegetables are among the highest-quality produce anywhere in the world, so we're not surprised that following an increase in the quantity sold throughout 2011-12, the first quarter of 2013 has seen a drop in prices at the retail level," he said.

Mr Erbacher said business had been steady for the past month, but he expected more customers to stock up on vegies for hearty meals in the colder months.

"Most people want value for their money, so if you can get a box of vegies for less than $50, which will last you a week, then you're laughing," he said.



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