Strawberry prices drop 43 per cent as glut hits supermarkets

Strawberry prices were an average of $3.45 for 250 gram punnet in November, down from $6.04 in October. The cost of strawberries in local supermarkets has been slashed due to a glut caused by border restrictions and soaring freight costs, newly released data from Stats NZ shows.

Strawberry prices were an average of $3.45 for 250 gram punnet in November, down from $6.04 in October reports www.stuff.co.nz

But while it’s good news for those planning champagne with strawberries this summer, growers were “hurting like hell” the industry said.

Growers could not pick the fruit fast enough, and many berries were too ripe for export, leading to an oversupply and drop in price.

“Prices are lower than we typically see for a November month with December generally being when they are cheapest. Some people may be seeing even cheaper prices during the first half of December,” Stats NZ consumer price manager Katrina Dewbery said.

Strawberry Growers New Zealand executive manager Michael Ahern said the fruit was currently at its best.

“There’s only one thing we want from New Zealanders. Please go and buy plenty, straight away.”

Planting decisions were made as early as January, and growers had made assumptions about export demand and labour availability early on.

“In other words, distinctly before Covid.”

 


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