Sweet success: Grant Cook with part of his sweet potato crop.
Sweet success: Grant Cook with part of his sweet potato crop. John Gass

Qld floods send business to Tweed

TWEED Heads growers are experiencing an influx of business from buyers who usually purchase from flooded northern Queensland farms.

Woolworths outsourced its sweet potato production from Bundaberg to Tweed Heads, the Fresh Market Update reported.

Cudgen grower and Woolworths supplier Matthew Prichard said cooler temperatures allowed the soil to dry out quickly so farmers are at an advantage when they plant their crops.

“We even planted and harvested sweet potatoes today,” Mr Prichard said.

“The price for quality sweet potatoes has doubled from $1.50 a kilogram to $3 and Woolworths is now paying $6 dollars a kilogram.”

Tweed wholesale farmers markets and retailers have been negatively affected by the increasing growers’ prices.

Love Produce buyer and owner, Geoff Cook said fruit and vegetable prices had doubled since the floods and the quality of the product had also suffered.

“A small price increase is natural this time of year, but the floods have damaged the existing crops,” Mr Cook said.

The floods are not only impacting the quality of the food but also the transportation of the produce.

Tweed Grower Wholesale manager Grant Cook said transportation to the northern parts of Queensland had slowed.

“They can’t pick the sweet potatoes because it is wet and the trucks can’t transport them because of flooding,” Mr Cook said

Other produce influenced by the price hike includes corn, chilis, silver beets and pineapples.



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