From farm to fork coffee, inflation and the rising cost of living are causing chaos for business owners and consumers, with coffee and vegetables being the latest commodities affected.
- Inflation hits business owners, farmers and customers as prices soar
- Berries are now $13 a punnet and wombok $15 each
- Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce says energy and pay rises are not helping
Lettuce prices exploded earlier this month to $11 a pop, leading some large fast-food establishments to use cabbage as a replacement.
Trays of some berries now sell for up to $13.
But farmers and business owners say it’s not just lettuce and berries taking a hit, it’s everything on the menu and in the store.
Gold Coast cafe owner Tolua Scott said she is considering running one of her three outlets on solar power just to help her stay afloat.
“We’ve been through this for two and a half years already and have gone into significant debt to get through it, so we have to pass it on.”
From coffee to wombok
Ms Scott said she was told there was unlikely to be a price reprieve for several years and that her products, including coffee, would be affected.
“Everything has gone up in price,” she said.
Fruit and vegetable wholesaler Don Meers of Q Growers Market said his outlet wasn’t doing much better.
He started his career in the 1980s and said he had never seen such high prices.
“We’re going to be in this situation for at least the next six to eight weeks,” he said.
Meers said items that weren’t regular staples had risen in price, with six womboks costing wholesalers $90.
“Six months ago we were paying $2 for cabbage and selling it for $2.99, now it’s $11 and we have to sell it for $10.99,” he said.
“We have lost the seedlings of everything, so our main suppliers have no more products.
Mr Meers said while consumers would feel the shock of the bill, farmers were likely to be hit hardest.
He said he’s seen customers browsing through many grocery stores looking at prices before deciding where to shop.
“Customers used to come in and just pick up off the shelf and not look at the price,” he said.
“But now I see people going to Coles, Woolworths and Aldi, the fruit shop, watching the picking with the price more than anything.”
Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce chairman Martin Hall said businesses were hurting.
“We’ve been through a relatively stable period where confidence has improved a bit, but the knocks keep coming,” Mr Halls said.
“Anything that increases that cost of doing business is going to hurt.
Mr Hall said small businesses will reach a point where costs will start to impact the end user.
“We really need to make sure that we support our businesses and continue to trade with them,” he said.