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

Further social media reports of shark sightings

A young surfer had a lucky escape after being hit by a shark at Broken Head near Byron Bay. Photo: Twitter - Geoffrey John Knapp.

Man describes the shark incident this morning

Go Fund Me for Amanda Nash to continue to receive donations

A photo of Amanda Nash and her daughter, Bonnie, posted on the GoFundMe fundraising page.

MORE than $68,000 raised for family of woman killed in crash

WATCH: Your North Coast National experiences

Stocking up on show bags (left to right): Tyler Elford, 4; Samantha Elford; Mason Elford, 2; Paige Jackson, 5; Aiden Jackson, 3.

You told us what you liked about the North Coast National

Local Partners

Taylor Swift files lawsuit over alleged groping

Taylor Swift source Bang

Swift has commenced legal action against a DJ over the incident

Kanye West threatens to boycott Grammys

West says he won't go to the Grammys if Frank Ocean's not nominated

Why this actress wasn't embarrassed by nude photo leak

Leslie Jones source Bang

'If you wanna see Leslie Jones naked, just ask,' she said

Federal grant keeps NORPA telling our local stories

ANNOUNCEMENT: NORPA's Producer Marisa Snow, Artistic Director Julian Louis, General Manager Patrick Healy, Chair David Wolff, with Member for Page Kevin Hogan.

Arts company granted almost $400,00 over two years

Dad's Army comic genius Jim Perry dies

Jimmy Perry, the creator of Dad's Army.

Dad's Army series captured all that British people savour

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

Images from the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival show what's hot

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track