Grower concern at prices

Concerns surrounding the low price of strawberry have continued to plague Granite Belt strawberry growers. Picture: FILE

By Jeremy Cook

Granite Belt strawberry growers are getting set for a “sensational” harvest, although concerns remain that prices are still too low.

Granite Belt Growers Association industry support officer Narissa Corfe said there was little doubt over the quality of this year’s harvest.

Ms Corfe said the availability of fruit pickers was strong and the standard of product “exceptional”.

Although concerns surrounding whether production can remain viable have continued to persist.

“The price that they’re getting for their product is well and truly below the cost of production,” Ms Corfe said.

“The fact that they’re not going to recover the cost of growing when they sell is rather concerning,” she said.

“It is not isolated to this season.

“It is getting increasingly difficult for our growers to continue in this fashion.”

Growers have little power or control over what price they can get for their product.

Ms Corfe said there was often little time for growers to find alternative sale avenues due to the perishable nature of the product on offer.

“They’re selling to large corporates, or large entities that have the ability to say, ‘we want it for this price and we won’t take any nonsense about it’,” she said.

“Obviously with the number of growers out there too, if they were to say no to a supply avenue, then there’s always someone who can come in and take that supply avenue off of them going forward.

“That’s obviously a huge concern for any grower, any producer in this economy.”