Friends, welcome to the Real Food Grocer’s mid-March market report. Unfortunately, through the wild weather events that have marked the year’s beginning, some effects are beginning to filter down from our farmers into the local marketplace. In this RFG blog we’re letting you in on what we’re observing at market, and how this may impact upon your orders with us. Read on!
Whilst out and about, you may have noticed that some of your favourite produce items have become obscenely expensive. We’ve noticed this with vegetables in particular, and even the ‘ugly’ stuff has become rarer and a little more pricey.
Why is this happening?
This is happening for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s the end of the local season for a lot of our favourite goodies. This means that there is usually an expected price jump around about now. This year however, there has been a little unexpected with the expected. We have had such consistency and diversity in extreme weather events in Australia, that the NSW and South Australian crops that would usually supplement the Victorian market until the Queensland season kicks off, have been impacted. Simply put, there’s less stock in the market and the prices are up.
The reason that our ‘ugly’ supplies are down is the rain. Rain often means that goodies that are not aesthetically perfect are more susceptible to a shorter shelf life as they potentially hold hidden rot. This is one of the reasons large retailers push for aesthetic produce, as it means they don’t have to inspect for weakness due to weather extremes. At the Real Food Grocer, we’re more than happy to complete this inspection and keep ugly yet tasty fruit and veggies coming at you. However, a lot of ugly fruit is not even making it to market, and naturally, we can’t and won’t accept rot either.
What are we doing about this an organisation?
As usual, team Real Food Grocer are actively and heavily supporting our local growers, however this might mean that there’s a little less variety in your mixed boxes. But there will be higher quantities!
We’re sweet talking our competitors, we’re getting the best deals possible and we’re getting the best quality possible. We’re also shopping around for some weird and wacky varieties of your favourites. There is a whole heap of very resilient fruit and veg that we can feature. This might mean that we’ll cook up some new delights and share the recipes with you.
We’re also talking regularly to farmers. They have the best knowledge about their crops and each farm has experienced different conditions. By regularly communicating with our farmers we’re able to get the latest on what’s available now, and what we’ll be getting our mitts on soon!
What can you do as a customer?
During these conditions, we encourage our customers to be open to a mixed box that may be a little wackier than usual. It could be time to get creative. Making swaps is always possible, but it may make you feel like you’re getting less value for money. Now is a great time to get the best value for money by choosing our uncustomisable ‘Grocer’s Choice’ box.
If you spot an item that is stumping you as to what you could make with it, ask us! Before you swap it out, we might have some suggestions that mean you can get gourmet with a new kind of veggie.
If there is a ‘must have’ item that is coming up short, please be kind. We are doing our best to keep prices reasonable and your favourites available.
A note on COVID-19:
The team at Real Food Grocer would like to note that these market conditions are for the reasons listed above and not because of COVID-19. We would also like to reassure our clients that will continue delivering to homes as per our usual schedule. You’ll be able to get essential groceries delivered throughout the self-isolation period. We will not, however, be delivering orders that contain only toilet paper and orders that contain 48 roll boxes will be reduced so that there is enough to go ‘round. These restrictions will lift as soon as balance is restored.
Now, more than ever, it is important that you wash your fresh produce. Real Food Grocer have implemented precautionary masks and gloves in our packing system, but we cannot control how risk is managed at farms and via distributors. Please take care to wash your produce before you eat it.