Fruit and vegetable prices up 16 per cent

Last updated 10:45 25/08/2011
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MAARTEN HOLL/Dominion Post

GETTING HARDER: Yasmin Morris with her children, from left, Aaliyah Morris, Ella Morria, and Rikihana Taniwha, will find fewer vegetables in the fridge as prices rise.

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A basic Kiwi salad is becoming a distant dream as fruit and vegetable prices continue to rise, stinging Kiwi families by almost 16 per cent more than a year ago.

Tomatoes and lettuce – fundamentals of the classic kiwi salad – are the biggest culprits.


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Tomatoes were up 52.2 per cent and lettuces up 54.4 per cent compared to last year.

Statistics New Zealand’s latest Food Price Index, released today, shows tomatoes cost on average $13.25kg last month. They have never been dearer.

Lettuce cost $9.40kg last month – expensive but not a record breaker.

For six straight months the price of fruit and vegetables has continued to grow – each month more than the last.
They rose 8.9 per cent between the winter months of June and July.

Food prices are more expensive across the board than a year ago.

New Zealand households spend on average $199 each week on food, compared to $178 three years ago.

Restaurant food and ready to eat meals were the least offenders – up 4.2 per cent over the year.

Statistics NZ’s “food basket” - a representative food buy updated every three years to reflect what New Zealanders are buying – added four new items this year.

Dried apricots, frozen berries, frozen chicken nuggets, and flat breads such as tortillas are now on the list. Nothing was dropped.

Since June 2008, we now buy more fruit and vegetables and soft drinks, but less meat, poultry, and fish.

Fuel prices are now 2.7 per cent less than they were at their all-time peak of June 2008.

Retail sales are also up -  rising by 1.7 per cent – in the June quarter.

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