I Have Been Shopping (III)

Fruit World, Greenhithe, Auckland, New Zealand

Fruit World is one of the smarter Auckland greengrocer chains.  This photo was taken on 29th  January on the Greenhithe Road in West Auckland where fruiterers hunt in packs several greengrocers are practicing the cluster principle. 

At first glance, there is nothing wrong with the photo, particularly as the ‘follow-up action’, namely Royal Gala apples, were indeed in evidence in store.

At second glance, for me, the Fruit World sign was responsible for a journey back in time.  A time when apple marketing was controlled by the New Zealand Apple & Pear Marketing Board; a time when a greengrocer seen to be marketing new season apples in January would have been heavily fined as he would have been breaking the law; a time when wholesalers and retailers, including yours truly, were playing a game of hide and seek with vigilant Board inspectors who were roaming the nation’s malls and strip shops to search out rogue apple retailers whose view on when the apple season was meant to start differed markedly from those of the Apple & Pear Marketing Board.

The apple black market and it machinations are now fading in memory.  The apple industry was deregulated in the early nineties, last century!  Just imagine though not being able  to get Royal Gala until the last week of February or even worse, the first week of March?  The nanny state taken to the extreme.

On the other hand – are apples really a summer crop?  How naturally ripened is this early apple harvest in the stores now? And would apricots, nectarines, peaches and plums be selling better if apples were not trying to muscle in on their territory?  What do you think?

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