Tropicana Fruit Shop owner Alex Coronakes with some of the produce available in his Lismore store.
Tropicana Fruit Shop owner Alex Coronakes with some of the produce available in his Lismore store.

Bananas won't crumble

IT'S BAD news for banana cake, but good news for cauliflower cheese.

Vegetable supplies have recovered rapidly since the Queensland floods, reports AUSVEG, the national peak industry body representing 9000 vegetable and potato growers.

“Consumers are now likely to find a range of bargain-buying opportunities at the retail level,” spokesperson Andrew White said.

What that means is some cheaper vegetables, such as cauliflower, broccoli, pumpkin and even lettuce.

But not everything has come down in price, according to local growers.

“Prices are still subject to quality,” said the owner of Tropicana Fruit Shop in Lismore, Alex Coronakes.

He said cauliflowers were reasonable at about $2.50 each, while lettuces were more affordable at $1.90 each.

“But bananas are still very exp-ensive at $11.90 a kg, as are tomatoes, at $6.90 a kg.”

Mr Coronakes said the supply of bananas available nationally had been hugely reduced since the Queensland disasters.

Manager of Karam's Fruit Mart in Casino, Frank Karam, said: “Most things are back to pre-flood prices.

“But hand-picked beans and tomatoes (which he sells for $8 a kg and $6 a kg, respectively) are still more expensive.”

He said pre-flood those prices were about $4 a kg for beans and $2.50 a kg for tomatoes.

“Broccoli is now a good buy at $2.99 a kg, Jap pumpkin at 99 cents a kg and English potatoes at $1.99 for a two kg bag.”

Even iceberg lettuces were looking more affordable at $1.40 each, Mr Karam said.

Owner of Charlottes Market in Bangalow, Matt Rafton, said there was still a shortage of tomatoes because of a mass poisoning of seedlings at a major Queensland nursery.

“Bananas are also still really expensive,” he said.

Mr Coronakes recommended a nice Jazz apple, at $1.20 each, instead.

Perhaps hold the banana cake and bring on an apple crumble.

WHAT TO BUY

According to AUSVEG, these veges are now at similar wholesale pricing levels to before the floods, and in some cases lower:

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Pumpkin

Lettuce

Local growers say those veges that are still expensive are:

Handpicked beans

Tomatoes

Lebanese cucumbers



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