By Growcom CEO David Thomson

As local market prices spike for tomatoes, capsicums, apples and celery, Growcom encourages Queenslanders to continue to buy fresh produce even if it means higher prices for a period of time.

We remind consumers that our industry is at the mercy of a supply and demand model, which means prices for fresh produce are going to increase when crop yields are low and drop when produce is available for market.

As an example, Stanthorpe has been suffering its worst drought in over fifty years, playing havoc with supply while demand among consumers has remained strong which is driving up prices. Recent rainfall has provided some relief but it will take some time for agricultural output to return to usual.

Typically at this time of year many vegetables are coming in from growing regions including Bundaberg, Stanthorpe and interstate – all of which have been hit by dry conditions. Bowen on the other hand has had good rainfall recently and high quality produce from that region will arrive in Brisbane and other markets in about a month.

Unfortunately, weather extremes in several horticultural growing regions have hurt growers’ productions, making it harder for them to meet market demands.

The deluge that hit Queensland’s north earlier this year caused significant crop and property damage. While the activation of special disaster assistance recovery grants has been a welcome step in the road to recovery, for some of the harder hit growers there is still a long road ahead.

Although the effects of the flooding event may not be as severe and widespread as the effects of cyclones in recent years, several of the region’s growers reported soil erosion, crop losses, loss of top soil and that planting may be delayed in some areas.

In the meantime, Growcom urges Queensland consumers to consider the hardship many farmers are currently facing and asks for continued support by buying fresh produce.