Produce supply shrivels in the dry
THE devastating bushfires that have burned for weeks across Victoria and New South Wales have not impacted the cost of fresh produce as much as the drought.
Tweed Fruit Exchange owner Paul Pouloudis said the prolonged dry weather forced an increase in price for fruit and vegetables because of limited produce.
"At summer time we normally get a reasonable amount of fruit and vegetables from Stanthorpe," Mr Pouloudis said.
"There's usually a new season of apples in February and March, but they're non-existent because they just don't have water.
"As far as local produce goes, we should be getting beans and corn out of Cudgen, but they're obviously out of water as well and can't produce."
Mr Pouloudis said some supplies were affected when bushfires were at their peak in Victoria last week because delivery trucks couldn't get through.
"What it's done is force the price up for broccoli and cauliflower," he said.
"They have to come out of Victoria at this time of year because they're grown in a cooler climate.
"This time of year in the Tweed, a winter crop won't produce."
He said owning a retail business was tough but it was the farmers Mr Pouloudis's heart went out to.
"Retail business is tough because the cost of production keeps increasing, it's hard to get the extra turnover.
"I just feel for the farmers.
"That's probably the saddest part for me is the country has not put in any long-term infrastructure or vision for our farmers."