In Australia, as in so many places, the cost of living is on the rise. The recent Consumer Price Index (a measure of inflation of a standard basket of goods) revealed Australians’ grocery baskets are becoming increasingly expensive. The latest data show how fruit and vegetables are, on average, 6.7% more expensive than this time last year. Some items rose by far more. A cucumber, for example, went from A$2.20 last year to A$3.70 this year. The cost of lettuce has become a touchstone during the current election campaign.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports fruit and vegetable prices have gone up because supply chains were affected by the COVID pandemic (for example, border closures and loss of farm workers), floods, and international conflict (increasing fuel and transport costs).