Fresh food suppliers in Australia claim that the prices of fresh fruit and vegetables won't come down anytime soon. According to Claire McClelland from the Australian Fresh Produce Alliance, continuing high inputs for producers is keeping prices high: "Once a price is up it very rarely goes back down ... once the price of fuel, or packaging or energy is up we very rarely can reduce that cost.”
She said ongoing labour shortages and supply chain challenges were also keeping the price of produce high. "The cost of our inputs is directly related to the price of food. As we see those prices rise, it has a direct relationship to our production costs."
She warned that Australian supermarket shelves could even empty out again if further disruptions to the supply chain are experienced, and harvest jobs cannot be filled. "If there's no one to harvest the food there's simply no food," she stated.