Rising costs add pressure

The inflated cost of living is causing a pinch in the pocket for Limestone Coast residents as the price of groceries including fresh produce soar across the region.

According to the latest CPI figures, in the first three months of 2022 grocery food products across Australia have risen by 4% and fresh produce 5.8%, a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.

The price rises across grocery products reflect a range of pressures for stores locally and nationally including transport costs, supply chain disruptions and increased output costs.

Foodland Millicent owner David Foster said he was just trying to tread water due to the price rises.

“We have still got our overheads and the cost of running our business, so we have to follow suit and when price rises go up, our prices have to increase too,” he said.

“There is definitely hesitation from consumers due to the price rise in some categories.

“No one is ever going to get used to prices in supermarkets, they always think they’re too expensive, no matter what the prices are.

“I do not think prices will keep going up because they mostly seem to be holding steady right now.”

Mr Foster said it was difficult to narrow the price increase down to any one specific area.

“Some products have gone up significantly, others have not changed and some have gone down,” he said.

“The price of fresh produce has increased but that is typical at this time of year due to the cold weather making vegetables harder to grow, which is why it is common for leafy vegetable prices to go up as well.

“If fruit and vegetables get too expensive we are just selling them at cost and getting our money back from what we have spent on it because some things are just too expensive to make any margin on at the moment.

“Meat went up significantly last year but that has settled quiet well.”

Mr Foster said despite the media attention, the price of lettuce in the region had not seen a drastic increase compared to last year.

“Our lettuces are currently $6.50 because they have just gone up again, but this time last year they were around $5.50 so it’s not as bad as what it seems,” he said.

“I know of a few remote towns around Australia that are selling lettuce for $12 but we are not affected too badly here because most of the lettuce is grown in Virginia, South Australia.

“They have to freight lettuce from South Australia to wherever they are going now because Queensland has lost all theirs so there are huge amounts of freight expenses in between for other states.

“The rising costs is definitely having an effect because everyone is hearing about it on the news and that starts to affect them after a while.”

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