Produce trickles back into shops

TWEED'S fruit and vegetable shops are struggling to keep up with the demand for fresh produce.

With the Brisbane produce markets temporarily operating out of warehouses, part-owner of Fruitmania in Centro Tweed Dong Than said they have been able to secure limited supplies.

“We just fill in what we get every day and it goes straight away,” Mr Than said.

“We're only getting very small quantities.

“We normally get our main supply from the Brisbane Markets.”

Mr Than said the shop is almost empty.

“We've worked hard to get fresh produce for our customers.

“We're doing our best, but the flooding is making it hard for everyone.”

He said they managed to receive produce from New South Wales and South Australia.

“We've had to collect food from everywhere We just have to wait and see in the next couple of weeks.”

As well as panic shoppers, Mr Than said they've had people come in from flood-affected areas.

“We had some people from Toowoomba. They said because of the flooding they came to our shop.”

Murwillumbah's Tweed Fruit Exchange owner Paul Pouloudis said they have been fortunate.

“We've been able to get some produce from Sydney.

“The Brisbane Markets are running at half capacity,” Mr Pouloudis said.

“They did a great job up there. They had warehouses set up at different locations.

“All the basics have been available.”

Mr Pouloudis believed being a small business gave them an advantage.

“The agents don't have much to do with Coles and Woolworths; they were certainly more disadvantaged than us small people.”

But Mr Pouloudis expects things to get worse.

“I think the worst is yet to come, mainly because of the flooding in Victoria. It's going to compound the problem.

“We were going to rely on Victoria, but now they're flooded as well.

“Prices will naturally go up, but it'll be more an issue of not having the produce.

“Lettuce and strawberries are very prone to the wet weather.”

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