Inflation pressures push Gold Coast business owners to raise prices

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.

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.”

A Gold Coast cafe owner says inflation is pushing up the cost of doing business.(Supplied)

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.

Punnet of strawberries for $12.99.
Punnets of strawberries for sale at $12.99.(ABC News: Kimberly Bernard.)

Farmers hurting

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.

Homegrown lettuce with a lettuce sign.
Lettuce in some stores are now $11 each.(ABC Eyre Peninsula: Bernadette Clarke)

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