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The cost of fresh produce at Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and IGA is likely to climb further in the coming weeks due to ongoing gaps in the supply chain caused by heavy rainfall in major growing regions.
Australia's biggest supermarket chains have each revealed to Yahoo News which products will continue to be affected by reduced stock and rising prices, and how they plan to tackle these ongoing issues.
Woolworths reveals which items are in short supply
Woolworths prefaced their most recent Fresh Update by saying they "think it's important to be upfront about fresh food availability".
Woolies customers can expect to see less tomatoes (truss, gourmet, cherry and solanto) in the produce section, as well as zucchini, beans and broccolini in the coming weeks, as widespread rain in Queensland has affected crops.
Berry and lettuce crops are also in short supply according to the Fresh Update, but Woolworths assures customers supplies of these items will return to more stable levels "in a few weeks".
A representative of Woolworths previously told Yahoo News that the retailer is working to "sensitively manage the industry-wide inflationary pressure on food and groceries".
"We're always working to strike the right balance to offer our customers high quality and affordable fresh produce, while paying a fair market price to our suppliers," the rep said.
An issue with Woolworths' Heathwood distribution centre that affected stock deliveries to over 260 stores has also now been resolved, the supermarket giant confirmed.
Coles working to re-establish operations with suppliers
A spokesperson for Coles told Yahoo News that the retailer's key focus is to manage the effects of inflation on prices while still delivering value.
"At Coles, our key focus is on keeping the cost of the family shop down and delivering great value to our customers," the spokesperson said.
"We appreciate that there are a number of factors driving inflation for all retailers, including increases in the cost of raw materials, energy price rises, freight costs, extreme weather events and ongoing Covid impacts."
The spokesperson said that Coles is working with suppliers and growers to ensure stock levels return to normal as soon as possible.
"We are supporting our suppliers in areas impacted by the recent floods by visiting their sites to meet with growers and understand how it has impacted their individual operations, purchasing the product they have available, and continuing to work collaboratively with them as they re-establish operations," the spokesperson added.
Aldi supporting growers hit by severe weather
Aldi stores have also been affected by heavy rainfall and flooding along Australia's east coast and other key growing regions across the country.
Yahoo News understands that Aldi is doing everything it can in spite of the recent weather events, with a focus on supporting the growers who have been challenged by damaged crops, in an effort to re-establish consistent stock for customers.
A recent Price Report from Aldi also asserts that customers can save up to $2,468 per year by switching to the budget supermarket over its competitors.
IGA increasing effort to meet high demand
IGA's most recent stock update reports that all IGA supermarkets are independently operated, while encouraging customers to enquire directly with their local stores about stock levels and purchase limits.
"Demand continues to remain high and you may find that some products are unavailable, but rest assured there is plenty of stock in our distribution centres and we're working hard to restock our shelves with the products that you need and want," reads the IGA stock update.
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