Advertisement

Greengrocer’s fresh take on prices as supermarkets slammed

A greengrocer has set out to prove you don't have to pay top dollar for your fresh produce.

A greengrocer has set out to prove you don't have to pay top dollar for your fresh produce. Photo: Getty

As Australia’s biggest supermarkets are dragged through a Senate inquiry into their pricing, a small fruit and vegetable shop has shown how cheap fresh produce can be.

Elijah Etri, Skippy’s Fresh Frootz manager at Victoria Point, Queensland, has taken to TikTok to show off the store’s specials.

From limes and lemons at five cents apiece to Cavendish bananas at 99 cents per kilo, the sale prices easily beat many of the specials offered by major supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths.

Customers at these stores are seeing Cavendish bananas at about $4 per kilo, while loose lemons and limes are retailing from $1.30 to $1.80 each.

Etri told The New Daily being a small business meant his store bought stock and repriced daily, allowing it to adjust to market pricing, which the supermarkets don’t do.

No-profit sales

A lot of the store’s lowest prices aren’t actually intended to make a profit – they’re just meant to move volume.

“When the market’s high and people aren’t pushing the prices that we do, then there’s no extra volume being moved there,” he said.

“That’s where we come in, we drop our price to something stupid so that way the farmer isn’t throwing any product in the bin, nothing’s going to waste.”

The store might be taking a hit money-wise, but the move could have a big impact on reducing waste – as can putting the emphasis on taste over appearance when it comes to fresh produce.

Etri said some of the ugliest produce can have the best taste, but supermarkets tend to only buy “perfect” produce, apart from their specific ‘ugly’ ranges.

Source: TikTok/@skippys.fresh.frootz

 

Australia wastes more than 7.6 million tonnes of food every year, according to food rescue charity OzHarvest.

More than 2.5 million tonnes of that is from farms and primary producers; half of all fresh produce never leaves the farm because it doesn’t meet supermarket standards.

Queensland farmer Bob Raabe previously told The New Daily Coles’ height and weight specifications for potatoes meant about 300kg per tonne grown were rejected.

“What the public don’t realise is that if a farmer grows 100 tonnes of broccoli, a supermarket will only take, [say,] five tonnes of it because only that amount of it is perfect,” Etri said.

“If the supermarket has contracted a farm, then in a lot of those contracts, the farmer is not actually allowed to sell to anyone else.

“So a lot of that product goes to waste just because it’s not to the supermarket’s regulations.”

Supermarkets lambasted

Etri said by supporting smaller businesses, consumers could help lessen the power Australia’s current supermarket duopoly has on prices.

The first public hearing on the pricing practices of supermarkets was held on Thursday in Hobart, Tasmania.

TasFarmers chief executive Nathan Calman told the inquiry Coles and Woolworths were using their market power to reduce the price paid to farmers and increase prices for consumers.

“At one end of the supply chain, somebody can’t afford to buy something without stealing it,” he said.

“At the other end, you’ve got farmers contemplating suicide because they can’t receive a fair price.”

Coles and Woolworths have defended their pricing in submissions to the inquiry.

Coles said cost price increase requests from suppliers were a key driver of supermarket price increases, while Woolworths said the company was confident retail prices would continue to fall.

The inquiry will hold another two public hearings in Orange, New South Wales, on March 12 and in Melbourne on March 13.

Advertisement
Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter.
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.