The recent report that vegetable prices are down due to a bountiful harvest (“Power Prices Surge but Fresh Produce Plunges”, AAP, 26/10/17) hides the true cost to farmers of being price-takers rather than price-makers.
Why shouldn’t farmers experiencing a successful, bountiful season see a return for their hard work? How is it that big retailers rather than farmers set the price of fruit and vegetables? The ABS collects data on fruit and vegetable prices from supermarkets, showing the price that farmers are forced into accepting rather than the true cost of growing food.
The cost of living is increasing for farmers as for everyone else, and yet the price paid for their produce is pushed down by powerful supermarket buyers. Farmers are quietly being forced to make up the difference.
The Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association stands up for Victorian farmers by providing accredited fair marketplaces for independent farmers. Research into the cost of fruit and vegetables at accredited farmers’ markets across Victoria in autumn 2017 showed that the prices that farmers set for themselves were no higher than the prices set by nearby resellers (grocers and supermarkets).
When farmers are in control of their own retail prices, customers can afford to buy locally-grown fresh and seasonal food, and farmers can afford to keep farming.
For further comment or material, please contact
VFMA Executive Officer
03 9207 5545