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2011 survey shows producers being squeezed by supermarkets

14 August 2011
2011 survey shows producers being squeezed by supermarkets

A 2011 Green Party survey of more than 100 fruit and vegetable growers has found that despite high retail prices for fruit and vegetables, growers as well as consumers are struggling.

“78 percent of growers in our survey are being forced to sell their produce, at times, for less than it costs them to produce it,” Green Party food spokesperson Sue Kedgley said.

Ms Kedgley pointed out that of the growers that were being forced to sell their produce below cost, more than a third had to so on a frequent basis.

“Our survey shows that supermarkets are still routinely putting substantial mark-ups of 100-300% on fresh fruit and vegetables.

“This suggests that supermarket mark-ups remain a key factor in the high price consumers are paying for fresh local produce, and that the low prices many growers are getting for produce are not being passed onto consumers.”

Ms Kedgley said nothing has been done to resolve this problem since a Green Party survey last year, and so it’s not surprising that many growers had reported the same problems.

“It’s clear from our survey that supermarket pricing practices need to be investigated and a Supermarket Code of Conduct and Ombudsman established.

“There was strong support amongst growers for a Supermarket Code of Conduct and an Ombudsman, such as exists in the United Kingdom, to ensure that growers as well as consumers are treated fairly.”

Ms Kedgley said many growers detailed the returns they get for produce, and the amount their produce retailed for. Some growers reported margins of up to 800 percent on their produce, while most suggested supermarket margins were around 100-200 percent.

“Serious questions need to be asked about why supermarkets put such high mark-ups on fresh produce, while they put virtually no mark-ups on alcohol, and the mark-ups on processed foods are normally around 23 percent.”

Please follow this link to get more information on the 2011 Green Party growers survey:

http://www.greens.org.nz/misc-documents/growers-survey-2011-comments-and-graphs

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