It is a year since the two major supermarkets launched a price war on fruit and vegetables, but a Baldivis grower says customers are still after quality produce, not cheaper prices.
Sam Calameri, whose family has been growing potatoes and carrots on Eighty Road since 1974, said his business had weathered the price war on produce launched by Coles and Woolworths last year.
On average, the family grows 3000 tonnes of carrots and 2500 tonnes of potatoes a year and Mr Calameri said because the potato industry was regulated it meant they were protected.
“We’re under licence and it’s a statutory thing,” he said. “We’ve got a licence to grow so many tonnes of potatoes and we’re given allocated weeks and we deliver in those certain weeks.”
Mr Calameri said he believed the major supermarkets slashed fruit and vegetable prices 12 months ago to clear surplus stock.
“It didn’t have much impact on us,” he said.
“Demand is always there and the biggest challenge for us is to produce quality. Customers are focused on quality these days and price rarely comes into it.”
Mr Calameri said he was confident about the future of his business, which is one of the last vegetable growing operations in Baldivis.“Unless a developer comes in with a nice, juicy cheque ... I can’t see it at the moment,” he said.