Where you can chase cherries in Warwick
EXCESS rain has slowed cherry crops along the East Coast, leaving this Christmas favourite in short supply.
Percy's Fruit Market is selling cherries, predominantly sourced from the New South Wales cherry capital of Young, for $25 a kilo.
Store owner Percy Pugliese said there had been low yield this season.
"Once the Young crop has finished we will source from South Australia and then Tasmania,” Mr Pugliese said.
"The season is expected to finish around mid-January as the weather conditions just haven't been favourable and fruit has tended to be small and inferior.”
Alf Turrisi at the Warwick Farmer's Market said five kilograms of premium cherries were selling for as much as $140, with both the white and red varieties being sourced from Victoria.
"Cherries haven't been necessarily difficult to source, they are just very expensive due to heavy rain and a light crop this season,” he said.
"The way it's shaping up it's going to be quite expensive for the rest of the season, so we can only hope growing conditions improve for next year.”
A Woolworths spokeswoman said the retailer had been working closely with suppliers to ensure Australia's favourite stone fruit is available for customers' Christmas and summer celebrations.
"We source from various regions across Australia with product for Queensland currently coming from Young, northern Victoria and some supply to come from Orange this week,” she said.
"Whilst some early season supply was delayed due to weather conditions and the industry is forecasting a lighter crop, we are confident that we will have enough great quality Australian cherries for our customers to purchase across our supermarkets over the coming weeks.
"The current season is running about 2 weeks late, meaning some of the volumes planned by growers for Christmas may actually miss Christmas peak demand, compared to last year's bumper crop.
"The current pricing in stores is where we expect pricing to remain over the next couple of weeks.
"There will be some more fruit around in Mid Jan as Tasmania comes into production, and prices might marginally ease around then.”