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Saturday 21 May 2022

FPI pressure from veg to ease – United Fresh

11th May 2022 By Staff Reporter | | @foodtickernz

United Fresh is predicting the upwards pressure from vegetables on the Food Price Index may show some signs of slowing down this week, after months of double-digit price inflation.

The pan-produce industry organisation said seasonal factors meant better conditions for growers, and therefore better prices.

“The monthly FPI due to be released tomorrow is predicted to show easing vegetable prices,” United Fresh said, adding that trend is set to continue into winter. 

Last month, the FPI jumped 7.6% for the year to March 2022, compared with the previous 12 months, according to Stats NZ.

It was the highest annual food price rise in a decade and followed the 6.8% increase recorded in February.

While food price increases were widespread during the year, fruit and vegetables was once again the category leading the rise with an 18% increase over the period. This followed a 17% hike in the February 2022 year.

Grower and Vegetables New Zealand chair John Murphy said the high FPI results for vegetables from the beginning of 2022 were not a surprise, but seasonal factors point to there being better conditions ahead for vegetable growing. 

“There’s been a lot of talk about pricing challenges facing all local industries and horticulture is no exception,” he said.

“April was a particularly difficult period as damage from Cyclone Fili in Eastern growing regions hit at the same time as fuel and fertiliser shortages and price increases due to the war in Ukraine.” 

President of United Fresh New Zealand Incorporated, Jerry Prendergast, agreed prices were improving. 

“The good news is there are always measures shoppers can take to keep their budget in check. Top of the list would have to be ‘buy in season’,” he said.

“The freshest vegetables that are at the height of their season and in plentiful supply will usually be the most affordable optionn.”

The winter vegetable crops coming in now include carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, silverbeet and more.

The FPI for April is due out on Thursday 12 May.



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