14th June 2023
Fresh fruit and vegetable prices falling as industry rebounds from challenging season
For the first time this year, the Food Price Index (FPI) shows a drop in the cost of fruit and vegetables as the country’s growers recover from a tough spell of weather-related challenges.
United Fresh President, Jerry Prendergast, says the fall in prices for the month of May is not unexpected with plenty of fresh, seasonal produce harvested.
“The industry has worked hard to get our supply volumes back up after heavy rain disrupted the normal planting cycle across many parts of the North Island. With May being really warm, this also contributed to producing a reasonable supply,” he says.
“The fruit and vegetable market has always fluctuated with supply and demand and this year has been no exception. Now that supply has improved, we’re seeing prices return to a ‘new normal’, higher than previous years but a decrease on the last few months. We’re certainly hoping the weather will play ball for the rest of the year.”
Shortages in some produce categories, such as kūmara, have seen the FPI increase steeply in the last few months.
“It’s a huge relief to see good news for consumers. Budgets are tight, but choosing healthy options is so important for the wellbeing of the whole whānau,” says Prendergast.
“We’ve also been really pleased to see shoppers taking the opportunity to experiment with different types of fresh produce if their favourite is in short supply. Hopefully many of the new recipes and flavour combinations they’ve tried will remain part of the regular family meal repertoire.”
More information about the monthly Food Price Index can be found on the StatsNZ Tatauranga Aotearoa website: https://www.stats.govt.nz/information-releases/food-price-index-may-2023/