Strawberry glut: Farmers urge shoppers to buy-up
IT’S peak strawberry season at the moment, with the fruit being sold for as low as $1 a punnet in some supermarkets.
Although this is great for consumers, it has been terrible for farmers.
Queensland strawberry growers are now struggling to survive what they say is the worst glut in the industry’s history.
Last week one of the state’s iconic strawberry farms shut its doors — and there’s concern more farms will follow.
Growers are calling for an inquiry into the role of the major supermarkets in driving down prices.
Despite being a win for consumers, it has forced supermarkets to reject more strawberries from farmers, meaning that thousands are going to waste.
Queensland Strawberry Growers Association president Luigi Coco said it was Australian’s short-term grocery shopping habits that was causing the problem.
“A lot of people tend to point the finger at the big two supermarkets when it comes to food wastage, it’s something we hear about all the time as farmers,” he said.
“However, it’s Australia’s short-term grocery shopping habits that are really hitting Aussie farmers where it hurts.”
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Queensland Strawberries are calling on consumers to spend $10 on strawberries to help reduce wastage.
“For just 10 bucks per household, Australians can turn the tide on the war on waste,” Mr Coco said.
“You’ll be helping out our farmers, the environment and jump-starting change in the way the Australian produce market functions — and all the while, you and the family will be enjoying quality strawberries for months to come.”
He said consumers could freeze their strawberries to save them from going to waste or to make oven-dried strawberry chips.