IGA customers in uproar over $12 lettuce: 'Bloody outrage'
A Queensland shopper has been left outraged after discovering the price of lettuce at her local IGA supermarket.
On Monday, while visiting IGA Redcliffe in the Moreton Bay Region, the customer was dumbfounded to find the cost of iceberg lettuce had risen to $11.99 each.
“That's a bloody outrage, it is!” wrote the shocked woman on Reddit.
The Queenslander shared photos from inside the supermarket – one of the iceberg lettuce advertised for $11.99 and another of punnets of strawberries and blueberries for $14.99 and $19.49 respectively.
Per kilogram, the strawberries are priced at $59.96, while the blueberries are a staggering $155.92 per kilo.
“I live in a place where only the elite can afford fresh fruit and vegetables, the worst bit is that I'm a bloody Australian; we literally grow 99% of our fresh produce here,” the disgruntled woman later wrote.
Iceberg lettuce is currently available at Coles and Woolworths for $5.50 each – meaning IGA’s lettuce is $6.49 more expensive.
Meanwhile punnets of blueberries and strawberries are currently for sale at Coles and Woolies from $6.
The shopper’s startling find comes amid ongoing gaps in the supermarket supply chain caused by heavy rainfall in growing regions and resulting in the rising cost of fresh produce.
Woolworths, Coles and Aldi confirmed to Yahoo News Australia on Monday that they are supporting growers who have been impacted by the floods, while also trying to mitigate the disruption for customers.
Yahoo News Australia has contacted IGA for comment.
Shoppers swear off supermarkets amid price hikes
The Queenslander’s Reddit post ignited a heated debate between hundreds of Aussies.
Dozens of shoppers claimed the fresh produce prices were “just another reason to avoid supermarkets” and suggested people turn to independent stores instead.
“Go to a fruit and veg shop, not a convenience store as that's what you're paying for,” wrote one shopper.
“Hit the markets or fruit and veg stores. Way better,” commented another.
Others suggested that no one in their “right mind” would pay that much for lettuce and lamented that it would all “just go rotten” and IGA would make no profit anyway.
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Aussies come to defence of fresh produce growers
However, many shoppers came to the defence of Australian fresh produce growers, citing recent flooding as the reason for the price hikes.
“Well, given that Bundaberg had its crops wiped out and the food bowl in Lockyer Valley is decimated due to the relentless rain, food [prices] are up,” wrote one person.
A farmer explained that the cost of farming has “roughly tripled” this year, with the price of fertiliser and fuel at an all-time high.
“Fertiliser [has] gone from $1,200 a ton up to $3k being cheap. You all know what fuel has done. Glyphosate has gone from $6/L to $13-14,” wrote the farmer.
Farmers blame high produce costs on supermarkets
Earlier this month, NSW Farmers Horticulture Committee chairperson Guy Gaeta said that Aussie farmers are not benefiting from any price-rise of fresh produce at supermarkets.
“People are paying more for their fruit and veggies at the supermarket, but the farmers aren’t selling them for more, so who’s really raising the prices here?” he said.
“They’re ripping off the farmer and they’re ripping off the consumer.”
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