LOCALLY sourced fruit and vegetables are fairer on consumers and growers, says owner of Duffy Bros Fruit and Meat Market Sally Caller.
Mrs Caller and her husband Paul advocate selling locally produced stock at reasonable prices.
“We still make a bit of a profit. We need to pay our growers, they need to get a fair price too.”
Mrs Caller said she had been shocked to see potatoes, apples and oranges for sale at significantly higher prices in supermarkets.
“It is quite concerning,” Mrs Caller said.
“It is important to shop locally, because (otherwise) there are ongoing repercussions. There is a relationship with customers, with growers, with staff.”
Mrs Caller said Duffy Bros attempted to ensure everyone – growers and customers – received the best price.
Batlow apple grower Barney Hyams has grown Pink Lady apples for more than 30 years.
Since 2000 the international export market has significantly decreased from 30,000 tonnes per year to around 2000, he said.
A stark contrast to the orange market which Griffith orange grower Louis Sartor said had enormous export potential.
“The US market is a very big market for Australian naval oranges...its very successful.”
Mr Hyams said the market had changed immensely over the years.
“The way we sell it, it goes through the central utility, that hasn’t changed (over the 30 years),” Mr Hyams said.
“What has changed is the concentration of the market.”
Mr Hyams said prior to the mid 1980s most stock was sold to smaller retailers, like Mrs Caller, now most stock was sold to Coles and Woolworths.
“It’s dependent on the season, if there is a crop and the size meets the demand (it is positive),” Mr Hyams said.
“The only time we are under pressure if if there is an oversupply, because we have no export market.”
He said the huge growth China's apple growing market had eroded Australia's ability to export.
“It’s simply been brought about by competition,” he said, adding that Australian growers could not sell produce as cheaply due to labour costs. He did not expect this to impact domestic sales.
As a grower he loves supporting local sellers like the Caller’s who work hard to support growers.
“We just absolutely love supplying them, they do a fantastic job to work with the farmer.”
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