From farm gate to cafe sign, inflation and the rising cost of living are wreaking havoc for entrepreneurs and consumers, with coffee and veggies tarnishing the latest produce.
Most important points:
- Inflation hits entrepreneurs, farmers and customers as prices skyrocket
- Berries now get $13 per tray and wombok $15 each
- Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce Says Energy and Wage Increases Won’t Help
Lettuce prices rose through the roof earlier this month to reach $11 a pop, leading some major fast food restaurants to use cabbage as a substitute.
Punnets of some berries now sell for up to $13.
But farmers and entrepreneurs say it’s not just lettuce and berries that are taking a hit, it’s everything on the menu and in the store.
Tolua Scott, owner of a cafe on the Gold Coast, said she wanted to move one of her three outlets to solar energy to help her survive.
“We’ve been through that for over two and a half years and incurred significant debt to get through it, so we have to pass it on.”
From coffee to wombok
Ms Scott said she had been told it was unlikely the price would be delayed for several years and her products, including coffee, would be affected.
“Everything has gone up in price,” she said.
Fruit and vegetable wholesaler Don Meers of Q Growers Market says his point of sale is not doing much better.
He started his career in the 1980s and said he had never seen such high prices.
“We will be in this situation for the next six to eight weeks,” he said.
Farmers are in pain
Mr Meers said items that were no ordinary staples had risen in price, with six womboks costing the wholesaler $90.
“Six months ago we paid $2 for cabbage and sell it for $2.99, now it’s $11 and we have to put it on the shelves for $10.99 to sell,” he said.
“We have lost the seedlings of everything, so our main suppliers have no products.
Mr Meers said while consumers would feel the bill shock, farmers were likely the hardest hit.
He said he had witnessed customers looking at prices in numerous supermarkets before choosing a store.
“Customers always walked in and just took it off the shelf and didn’t look at the price,” he said.
“But now I see people going to Coles, Woolworths and Aldi, the fruit shop, looking more than anything at picking with the price.”
Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce president Martin Hall said businesses are hurting.
“We’ve had a relatively stable period where confidence has increased a bit, but the blows keep coming,” Halls said.
“Anything that increases the cost of doing business will hurt.
Mr Hall said that small businesses would reach a point where costs would hit the end user.
“We really need to make sure we stand behind our companies and continue to trade with them,” he said.
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