News

Farmers' market blasts price war

Paul Wilson of Nimbin is encouraging people to buy the abundance of fresh produce at local farmers’ markets.
Paul Wilson of Nimbin is encouraging people to buy the abundance of fresh produce at local farmers’ markets. Jay Cronan

FARMERS at the Lismore Produce Market have hit out at the two major supermarkets over a possible "war" to reduce vegetable prices.

This week Coles announced it would reduce the cost of selected products by up to 50% and Woolworths is expected to respond by slashing its vegetable prices.

Coles' price slashing on vegetables comes one year after it outraged dairy farmers by cutting the price of milk to $1 a litre.

But Lismore Produce Market vice-president Paul Wilson said lower prices were not necessarily good for competition or consumers.

"They are not content with 80% of the retail market, they want it all, at our expense," Mr Wilson said.

"People need to understand that picking the cheapest product off the shelf at the supermarket has real consequences for farmers, the community and the environment."

Mr Wilson said it was clear that farmers would wear the true cost of the price cuts.

"Farmers cannot ask for cheaper fertiliser or fuel so they must wear the costs," Mr Wilson said.

"With only two big buyers and many sellers the market is distorted in favour of the supermarkets.

"Markets offer fresher, cheaper produce that the supermarkets can't even come close to."

The vegetable price war has also been criticised by The Australian Food and Grocery Council, which said a supermarket ombudsman is needed to enforce a fair trading code of conduct.

But Coles general manager for fresh produce Greg Davis "flatly rejected" claims a potential price war would hurt Australian farmers.

"We are delighted with the reaction from customers to our new fresh super specials," Mr Davis said.

"We are acting responsibly and fairly and our farmer suppliers are pleased with what Coles is doing."

The impact of the price war is already clear, with Coles selling potatoes and carrots in Lismore for under $1 a kilo.

However Byron Bay and Bangalow Farmers' market manager Michael Stack said shopping at a farmers' market benefits the local community.

"We don't price gouge, so if you want to buy something at a farmers' market the price is very constant."

Topics:  coles, paul wilson, woolworths




Splendour found The Cure

Robert Smith at the Splendour in the Grass Amphitheatre stage during The Cure's show.

Day two of Splendour in the Grass

Splendour organisers offer free rides after bus chaos

Jenna Podolczak posts this picture of festival-goers "sleeping in the mud" to the Splendour in the Grass Facebook page.

Festival-goers resorted to walking home along highways last night.

Have you seen this man? Investigations into Bangalow theft underway

Police believe the man shown in these cctv images may be able to assist with the investigation of a Bangalow theft.

The man may be able to assist police with investigations.

Latest deals and offers

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

Splendour revellers cool down with giant emoji

The Mr Poopie sculpture at Splendour in the Grass.

Mr Poopie sculpture is inspired by the ice cream/poop emoticon.

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

Indigenous artist shows tourists secrets of Aboriginal painting

Ever thought "I could do that" about Aboriginal art?

Dynamic pics from Splendour Day 1

The Strokes perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Check out the latest pictures from Splendour in the Grass.

Politician cancels Splendour gig

DEBATE: Tony Jones' Q&A; at Splendour is one of the most popular non-music-related events of the festival.

Changes in the line up for Q&A with Tony Jones tomorrow

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started