I think not!
Grab One is a New Zealand website focused on daily deals and aimed at stimulating targeted consumption. Nothing wrong with that. Today, one of the deals popping up in my electronic in-tray is an offer to buy a fruit box, door to door delivery, supplied by Kiwi Growers Direct.
So far so good.
The offer is quite specific…”Tuck into a wide variety of freshly picked fruit including apples, lemons, mandarins, kiwifruit and persimmons.”
Can’t be clearer than that…and the merchant claims to be a collective of growers, 100% kiwi owned…and for my convenience, a link to the organisation’s website has also been provided. Here it is…Kiwi Growers Direct
Naturally, I go for a look….and immediately end up with an authenticity/credibility problem…
The composite picture shown on the website includes bananas, table grapes, pears and melons, none of which are grown in the Bay of Plenty….as well as tomatoes, artichokes and egg plants, product I can’t order from the supplier.
Guys, a good initiative, but you ought to get your marketing story straight. I ‘shop’ with all my senses…
Posted: May 17th, 2013 under Produce, Supply Chain.
Tags: Consumer, growers
There has a lot of talk in the media recently, and in homes too I’m sure, about the escalating food prices and the price of fresh produce in particular.
Here are just two of the recent articles, one from the NZ Herald and one from the Business Desk of One News. In essence, fresh produce gets the blame for the increase in the weekly shop, and we can’t have high fresh fruit and vegetable prices now, can we? Apparently fresh produce, along with potable water and petrol, are a basic human right and shouldn’t be expensive… especially in this time of rising obesity and the associated spiraling health costs.
What a burden to place upon the humble tomato and broccoli!
The thing is, and I think the media has missed the point again, there is nothing more natural than the cycle of bud, blossom, fruit, harvest. When it is ready – eat it. It is an irrefutable law of nature; there are some things we humans can not alter – try though we might.
But it is the 21st Century! We can have anything, anytime!
Well, yes – yes you can. If you are prepared to pay for it.
When you buy your fresh produce item out of its season, then you are paying a premium for the logistics required to make it available to you. The flip side of that statement is this: your local grower, being part of this 21st Century global market, will send his produce off shore if he knows he’ll make a better return on it.
Which brings us to that other law: the one about price being driven by supply and demand.
Fresh produce is particularly sensitive to this law. For example: in season, with a good volume crop, strawberry prices quite naturally will be around the $2 to $3/punnet level. And that volume crop will sell – there’s a demand because Kiwis love their strawberries, especially at Christmas. But if the volume available is reduced thanks to bad weather, the price will rise and the market will bear it because the demand is there. To a point. As we have seen from the media, fresh produce prices aren’t “allowed” to be too high. But as I’ve said before – why shouldn’t the grower get a return for his efforts? Every other business owner is in the business of making a profit, why is the grower excluded from that basic business tenet?
Whilst this article from The Guardian has some good points, it still assumes that people have access/ time/ skills to do the things it suggests. Where does that leave the high-density urban dweller?
Back at the supermarket, wondering why she can’t buy local tomatoes at a decent price anymore…
Posted: November 15th, 2011 under Consumer, Produce.
Tags: growers, I've been thining, prices
I have discussed fresh produce pricing on a number of occasions – as those who visit here regularly will have noticed.
Well, I had an epiphany last week. I think I have the answer to the problem of fresh produce pricing…
I was listening to the segment on National Radio where they rattle through the headlines from the New Zealand newspapers around the regions and one headline caught my ear – enough to make me look up the news item in question from the Dominion Post.
So, what are the issues again?
People need to eat fresh fruit and veg. But the price of fresh produce is too high for people afford, so their health is at risk.
Growers need to make a living from growing and supplying fresh produce. But the price of fresh produce is too low for them to do that, so their livelihood (and our food supply) is at risk.
“Somebody” isn’t prepared to pay growers a high enough price for their produce and that “somebody” is being driven by the behaviour of the consumer.
So who is driving this consumer behaviour? The influences are many and varied, ranging from the mother-in-law, the school, the mommy bloggers, the kids, nutritionists in the media, and so on…
I’m going to stick my neck out here:
the glass ceiling for fresh produce prices exists because people like nutritionists persist with pushing the idea that fruit & veg should be cheap!
Here’s my answer, then.
What needs to happen is that the fresh produce industry takes the nutritionists in hand and makes them understand the commercial realities of growing fruit & vegetables, so that the nutritionists’ ability to influence can be harnessed better to correctly position produce on the consumers’ plate.
Posted: September 12th, 2011 under 5+ A Day, Consumer.
Tags: food prices, growers