Veg­etable prices rocket after floods


‘‘The sup­ply of these veg­eta­bles should grad­u­ally re­turn to nor­mal over the com­ing weeks, as more stock be­comes avail­able. ’’

Fresh veg­eta­bles are in short sup­ply after New Zealand was bat­tered by three storms in a mat­ter of weeks.

Flood­ing through­out the coun­try dur­ing March and April has seen root rot wipe out en­tire crops, send­ing gro­cery prices sky­rock­et­ing.

Food­stuffs spokes­woman An­toinette Laird said the sup­ply of green veg­eta­bles to su­per­mar­kets na­tion­wide had been af­fected.

Beans, broc­coli, sal­ads, sil­ver­beet, let­tuce and spinach were all in par­tic­u­larly short sup­ply, which meant cus­tomers might no­tice the re­tail price of these veg­eta­bles was higher than usual, she said.

‘‘The sup­ply of these veg­eta­bles should grad­u­ally re­turn to nor­mal over the com­ing weeks, as more stock be­comes avail­able.’’

A spokesman at Count­down said its su­per­mar­kets had plenty of salad on its shelves but spinach was in ‘‘pretty short sup­ply due to the very wet weather’’.

The rain has ex­ceeded record amounts in sev­eral places in the North Is­land.

The Tas­man Tem­pest dumped more rain in some places in six days than is usu­ally ex­pected for the en­tire month of March.

It was fol­lowed closely by the rem­nants of Cy­clone Deb­bie and ex-cy­clone Cook, both of which brought heavy dumps of rain to many re­gions.

Auck­land mar­ket gar­dener Fay Gock said she and her hus­band Joe had been grow­ing in Man­gere for more than 50 years and con­di­tions had never been this bad.

She ex­pected their en­tire crop of cau­li­flower, which was due for har­vest this month, would be ru­ined.

The ku­mara they had planted was prob­a­bly rot­ten too but they wouldn’t know un­til they took those out of the ground, she said.

The prices for onions and pota­toes would also sky­rocket in com­ing months as those crops would have been wiped out too.

‘‘For me, it’s go­ing to be a bad year.

‘‘This is the first year that we have no­ticed such dam­age.’’

In­sur­ance wouldn’t cover the Gocks’ losses and they would prob­a­bly be left out of pocket by huge amounts, she said.

Wet weather had also meant an in­crease in ver­min eat­ing what was left of the crops.

‘‘We fight the weather and we fight the ver­min.

‘‘We are in a war zone.’’

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