From farm gate to cafe plate, inflation and the rising cost of living are causing chaos for business owners and consumers, with coffee and vegetables the latest produce affected.
- Inflation hits business owners, farmers, and customers as prices skyrocket
- Berries are now fetching $13 a punnet and wombok $15 each
- The Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce says energy and wage increases are not helping
Lettuce prices went through the roof earlier this month to reach $11 a pop, leading some major fast-food outlets to use cabbage as a replacement.
Punnets of some berries are now selling for up to $13.
But farmers and business owners say it is not just lettuce and berries taking a hit, it is everything on the menu and in the shop.
Gold Coast cafe owner Tolua Scott said she was looking at moving one of her three outlets to running on solar just to help her stay afloat.
“We’ve already been through that over two-and-a-half years and gone into considerable debt to get through it, so we have to pass it on.”
From coffee to wombok
Ms Scott said she had been told it was unlikely there would be a price reprieve for several years and her products, including coffee, would be impacted.
“Everything’s gone up in price,” she said.
Fruit and vegetable wholesaler Don Meers, of Q Growers Market, said his outlet was not 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.
Mr Meers said items that were not regular staples had risen in price, with six womboks costing wholesalers $90.
“Six months ago we’d pay $2 for cabbage and sell it for $2.99, now it’s $11 and we have to shelf it for $10.99 to sell,” he said.
“We’ve lost the seedlings of everything, so our major suppliers haven’t got any products.
Mr Meers said while consumers would be feeling the bill shock, farmers were likely the worst hit.
He said he had witnessed customers browsing numerous grocery stores looking at prices before choosing where to shop.
“Customers used to walk in and just pick up off the shelf and not look at a price,” he said.
“But now I see people going to Coles, Woolworths and Aldi, the fruit shop, looking at picking with the price more than anything.”
Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce president Martin Hall said businesses were hurting.
“We’ve gone through a relatively stable period where confidence picked up a little bit, but the punches keep coming,” Mr Halls said.
“Anything that increases that cost of doing business is going to hurt.
Mr Hall said small businesses would reach a point where the costs were going to start impacting the end user.
“We really just need to make sure we get behind our businesses and keep trading with them,” he said.