In-season produce cheaper

I picked up a couple of capsicums and half a dozen kiwifruit on my way round the supermarket without looking at the prices.

When I got to the checkout I found that the two capsicums cost nearly $5 each but the six kiwifruit came to just 93 cents.

The lesson from that is to buy in-season. 

Horticulture New Zealand points out  that seasonality and weather have a big impact on prices:

Horticulture NZ says . . .  an expected shortage of some vegetables due to this week’s adverse weather, highlights the seasonality of produce which determines the retail price.

Chief executive Peter Silcock says a lot of the products that are expensive now such as tomatoes, capsicums and lettuces, are not in season now so therefore they will not be cheap.

Another lesson is that I’d have gained a lot more from the removal of GST from buying the out-of-season capcicums than in-season kiwifruit.

That’s not surprising. Geoff Simmons points out there are holes in Labour’s health by stealth line.

The poorest 10 per cent of New Zealand families spend about $10 a week on fruit and vegetables. At the other end of the spectrum, the richest 10 per cent spend around $30 a week.

This means taking GST off fruit and vegetables will give the poorest just over $1 extra a week. That will barely make a dent in their food bill. Meanwhile, the richest will get just under $4.

John Pagani disputes that but Scrubone dug deeper and found

In short, there is basically no evidence that this policy will do a heck of a lot – and that’s an admission from people who really really wish it did.

The removal of GST from fresh fruit and vegetables is a feel-good policy based on emotion not fact.

It might reduce the price but not significantly for the people who need it most.

5 Responses to In-season produce cheaper

  1. Richard says:

    There was an interesting piece on Campbell live last night about one of their reporters and family (4) are attempting to live on $100 a week. They had a food technologist to assist. All the vegetables were purchased at a market at very affordable prices- except out of season items Really interesting what you can get for $ and with a bit of thought you can eat relatively cheaply and nutritiously.
    Might be a follow-up tonight.

  2. gravedodger says:

    The margins and pricing for fruit and vegetables when viewed against what is on the ticket is and will always be about supply, stock on hand, age of stock held and what the marketing manager thinks the stock will move at pricewise.

    REMOVING THE GST ON PERISHABLE , STOCK WITH WILDLY FLUCTUATING INPUT AND OUTPUT PRICING WONT MAKE A BLIND BIT OF DIFFERENCE TO THE PRICE ASKED.

    That will be agreed by anyone with a skerrik of understanding of pricing of fruit and vegetables.

    Now a socialist looking for a sound bite in an election year the old adage will apply.
    Q How do you know when a politician is telling porkies.
    A Their lips move.

  3. MacDoctor says:

    As I commented on ScrubOne’s blog, Frozen vegetables and in season fruit are actually quite cheap. The real reason people don’t eat them is that they prefer the taste of cookies and chips.

    As soon as someone invents a broad bean that tastes like KFC, the obesity epidemic will disappear

  4. meg says:

    Careful meal planning, knowledge of the local fresh food markets and a quick browse of the supermarket catalogues can save one a lot of money.

  5. homepaddock says:

    Meg, sadly not everyone has the knowledge and as Macdoctor points out many prefer the taste of other food.

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